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UK hosts first-ever closed-course Etape

In a testament to the health of cycling in the UK, more than one thousand riders took part in Britain's first closed road sportive cycling event, the 'Etape Caledonia' Sunday in Pitlochry, Perthshire. The 134 kilometre (82 mile) route took in some of Scotland's most stunning cycling areas include Lochs Rannoch and Tummel.

The event, started by twice world cycling champion Tony Doyle, was won by 28 year-old Edward Woodhouse, from London, in a time of 3 hours 48 minutes and 15 seconds. The first female rider, Catriona Phin, from Stirling triathlon club, finished a mere minute behind in a time of 3 hours 49 minutes and 54 seconds, just two days after celebrating her 40th birthday.

The Intermediate event, a 45 kilometre route, was won by Gavin Love from Dundee in 1 hour 22 minutes and 36 seconds.

"It was a good course with a real stinger of a hill in the last five miles at Logierait," Doyle, who rode the event with two friends, said. "The support from the local villages was great and the marshalling superb. We will definitely all be back next year!"

The event helped raise 'in the region of' £20,000 for its two official charities, Maggie's Cancer Care Centres and Action Medical Research.

"It was a fantastic ride," Woodhouse said at the finish. "I managed to get in a big group of riders at the start. I have done several sportive rides in France such as the famous L'Etape du Tour and this event is just as good."

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