News: Etape Series event in Cheshire


Dame Sarah Storey encourages legacy participation as ambassador of new Etape Series event in Cheshire

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After an incredible year for cycling in 2012 and participation and interest at an all time high, Great Britain’s most decorated paralympian and first cycling Dame, Sarah Storey, today launched the new Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Mercia.


The Marie Cure Cancer Care Etape Series is run by IMG Challenger World, the mass participation sport division of IMG World, the global sport, fashion and media company. It has set the standard for sportives in the UK, with riders enjoying closed roads, excellent support and awe inspiring routes. The demand for places on the sister event Etape Caledonia is so high that it sells out in minutes.

This new event is designed to complement existing Etape Series events, Etape Caledonia and Etape Pennines, by offering a 69 mile entry level challenge on safe, closed roads with breathtaking views in the West Cheshire countryside. Taking place on 18th August 2013, Etape Mercia is delighted to have Dame Sarah as its ambassador. Local to the Cheshire area, Sarah knows the route which starts and finishes at Oulton Park race circuit well, as she used many of the roads in training on her build up to winning her haul of gold medals at the London Paralympic games.

Participants can register their interest now at and general entries open on the 29th January. In addition, 400 free charity pledge places will be available to those willing to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Dame Sarah Storey DBE launched the event at Beeston Castle and commented “” I am extremely pleased to launch the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Mercia as event ambassador. This event is the little brother in the Etape Series and I hope it will encourage many participants to get on their bikes and take on the 69 mile challenge. The route is spectacular taking in some of the fantastic Cheshire lanes and gives riders amazing views around the countryside of this beautiful county. Riders will definitely enjoy this 69 mile challenge and being able to start and finish with a lap of Oulton Park makes it stand out as a really superb ride.

Over 3,500 cyclists will be able to compete in the sportive, which starts and finishes at Oulton Race Track (used by the British Superbike Championship) and takes in some of the county’s best-known sites, such as Beeston Castle, Little Switzerland, Delamere Forest, Shropshire Union Canal and the Cheshire Ridge.

Marie Curie Cancer Care, the event’s charity partner, is encouraging all participants to raise funds for the charity. Marie Curie provides free hands-on nursing care to people with a terminal illness,enabling them to spend their final weeks, days or hours at home, in familiar surroundings with the people and things they love close by.

With strong links to charity partners, the Etape Series has also been instrumental in encouraging participants to raise well in excess of £1.5million over its seven year history for its title charity partners.

James Robinson, Managing Director of IMG Challenger World said: “With cycling placed firmly in the hearts and minds of the British public following an incredible sporting year, the brand new Etape Mercia offers riders the chance to test their legs over some of the most inspirational and challenging countryside in the UK. We are delighted to bring the Etape Series to the northwest – home of so many famous cyclists – and are sure the public will really get behind our participants.”

Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Director of Fundraising, Fabian French, said: “Marie Curie is extremely pleased to be working with this premier cycling event. This ride offers cyclists an unrivalled individual challenge but also the opportunity to help others by raising valuable funds to provide more free nursing care and support to terminally ill people and their families.”

Top tips and updates can also be followed on Facebook at EtapeSeries or on Twitter, using @etapeseries and the hashtag #Bethefirst.




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