Closed road cycling event could generate charity millions

Local causes are set to benefit from the first ever Etape Royale road cycling event being held in Aberdeenshire and Moray later this year.

Entries are now being accepted for the 102-mile circular route that starts and finishes at Ballater, the closed-road route taking hundreds of competitors through Aberdeenshire before entering Moray.

Organised by Wildfox Events, it is expected that the race on September 27 could raise as much as £30million for local charities through a series of challenges.

“The route of Etape Royal has been designed specifically to allow cyclists to take in some of the most breath-taking scenery in Scotland – right through the heart of whisky country,” Wildfox managing director David Fox-Pitt said.

He added: “We want those living on and around the route to feel a sense of ownership and pride in their involvement with the event, making it a long-term success for all those involved.”

It is planned that roads along the route will be closed to traffic for periods lasting 15 minutes before the first cyclist arrives and 15 minutes after the last one leaves, with full details of which roads are affected expected to be announced nearer the event date.

Thousands of cyclists are expected to take part from throughout Europe and beyond, with organisers saying they would have a “significant impact” on tourism in Aberdeenshire and Moray.

Mr Fox-Pitt said: “This part of Scotland will appeal to any cyclist and the opportunity to participate in a 100-mile closed roads challenge is one we expect to become very popular.”

Wildfox have said that should the inaugural Etape Royale event prove the success they expect then future events will be more centred on Dufftown with an additional event based at Glenlivet.

Anyone wishing to consider entering the event or who requires further information can visit the Etape Royale website or email

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