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Dame Sarah Storey Celebrates the 2013 Etape Series

by Nick Gregory

Dame Sarah Storey celebrates the end of the 2013 Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Series following a dramatic end of season finale at the 'beautiful but brutal' Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines. 

Over 500,000 miles were conquered at the three sportives as the Etape Series visited some of the greatest cycling locations in the UK. The traffic-free closed roads and stunning picturesque routes provided many unforgettable cycling experiences for over 7,000 riders that participated. Event ambassador and decorated Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey took a break from training to look back at 2013 series. 

Dame Sarah Storey said, "The buzz around cycling since London 2012 has been incredible and I have been so fortunate to be involved with many great cycling projects and events. One of these was the 2013 Etape Series which had a new event for this year in my home county of Cheshire. 

"As well as raising funds for Marie Curie, the events were a huge success and it was great to see so many people riding. Many have come back to the Etape Caledonia and Etape Pennines for return rides, as well as entry level riders enjoying the new route of Etape Mercia. Congratulations to everyone involved and on your incredible fundraising efforts too." 


The year began with the seventh edition of the established Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia in Highland Perthshire, as over 5,250 participants tackled 81 miles of picturesque Scottish landscape. There was a real buzz around the event as the UK's first ever closed road sportive attracted thousands of roadside spectators to cheer on the UK's most dedicated cyclists. 

Next up was debut event, Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Mercia, an entry level sportive set in the northwest of England, a region considered by many to be the home of UK cycling. Over 1,200 riders of all abilities conquered 69 miles of closed roads in the beautiful West Cheshire countryside, home of series ambassador and decorated Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey.

Described as 'beautiful and brutal' by Cycling Weekly magazine, Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines provided the ultimate finale to the Etape series as over 1,400 riders took to County Durham for one of the toughest sportives on the event calendar. The route included over 2,500 metres of uphill climbing and several exhilarating downhill sections, giving participants one of the most demanding, yet rewarding, experiences in cycling. 

Participant, Hugh Hill, took part in all three Etape Series events in 2013 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. 

Hugh said, "Of all the events I have taken part in, the Etapes are by far the most exciting and the best organised. They are very professional and have stunning traffic free routes. When you've completed an Etape and get you medal, you know you've earned it, as they are tough but exhilarating." 


Throughout the year, many of the riders raised vital funds for the event's charity partner, Marie Curie Cancer Care, which will enable Marie Curie Nurses to provide more nursing care and support to terminally ill people and their families in communities across the UK. 

Fabian Franch, Director of Fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer Care, said, "Marie Curie Cancer Care was delighted to once again be the charity partner of the Etape Series for 2013. Thank you to everyone who took part in aid of Marie Curie and to everyone who gave generously. Funds raised by the Etape Series will help Marie Curie to provide more free nursing care to terminally ill people and vital support to their families." 

James Robinson, Managing Director of IMG Challenger World said: "2013 has been a brilliant year for the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Series as it continues to cement its reputation as the most successful cycling event series in the UK. We have been excited to watch the series grow in recent years with the addition of Etape Mercia and Etape Pennines to the already established Etape Caledonia, and we would like to thank everyone that contributed to making each event such a great success. It has also been fantastic to see so many riders raising money for our charity partner, Marie Curie Cancer Care. The money raised will help this fantastic charity provide end of life care for terminally ill people across the UK. We now look forward to next year and hope to see many of the participants return for what is going to be a terrific 2014 season." 

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