The inaugural Etape Royale closed-road cycle sportive is taking place on Sunday, September 27 2015 and entry is now open to the public via

We are delighted to have world record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont as the Etape Royale Ambassador, fresh off his success completing his #africasolo expedition from Cairo to Cape Town.

Mark is joining WildFox Events Director David Fox-Pitt on Thursday, July 2 on Penny Farthing bicycles for the full 100 mile route, known affectionately as the #pennyopain to help David raise vital funds for Mercy Corps Nepal earthquake appeal.

David and Mark hope the elevated view from their Penny Farthings will further enhance the views across the regal surroundings of Aberdeenshire and Moray’s breath-taking scenery, through the very heart of whisky country and Royal Deeside.

Mark recently completed his #africasolo expedition from Cairo to Cape Town breaking the previous world record by a massive 17 days. He set a new record of 41 days 10 hours and 22 minutes for cycling 6718 miles (10,812km) the length of Africa. Mark left Cairo Tower on April 10th and finished at Mouillie Point, Cape Town on May 21st after cycling an average of 160 miles a day.

Mercy Corps Nepal Press Statement

Recovery from an earthquake does not take days or weeks, it takes months and years. Mercy Corps has been working in Nepal for ten years and their 100 strong team will continue to be there long after the cameras have gone- and they need continued support to do so.

Mercy Corps is committed to helping Nepali people not just recover for the long term but build resilience to future shocks.

Mercy Corps reached over 43 thousand people in Nepal in just 30 days supplying the most vulnerable and isolated with emergency supplies to help them survive. Now Mercy Corps are looking to help people not just to survive, but to rebuild and thrive.

Mercy Corps’ key areas of work will be:

  • Cash Transfers: putting money into the hands of people giving families the power to prioritise their own needs. Stimulating the local economy will be critical to Nepal’s long term recovery.
  • Water and Sanitation: Damage to water facilities has been devastating in some regions. Mercy Corps will work to improve systems near schools and community buildings providing clean water and safe sanitation.
  • Shelter: more than 500 thousand homes were destroyed. Mercy Corps has provided temporary shelter to thousands and is now looking at how to support safe rebuilding projects that take earthquake proof technical measures into consideration.

Mercy Corps’ efforts to help the Nepalese people recover and build back stronger would not be possible with our help, we are taking on this challenge to ask people in Scotland to continue donating to give Nepali people the chance to put the pieces of their lives and homes back together.

Etape Royale

The Etape Royale is a brand new event set in the regal surroundings of Scotland’s majestic North-East. The 65 and 100-mile route will take cyclists across Aberdeenshire and Moray’s breath-taking scenery, through the very heart of whisky country and Royal Deeside.

There are plenty of climbs to provide a challenge for the sportive enthusiast and a 65 mile route option beginning in Rhynie that still has the King of the Mountains climb over the Lecht.

But this is no ordinary sportive. WildFox Events was founded by Scottish adventurer David Fox-Pitt in 1999. The company has pioneered some of the some of the UK’s toughest outdoor challenges, helping to raise more than £30 million for charity causes, both here in the UK and internationally. What sets the WildFox team apart is their passion for supporting local communities and charity projects and the team is working closely with the communities along the Etape Royale route to ensure the funds raised from the event prioritise local initiatives.

The route will pass through a number of Aberdeenshire villages including Tarland, Muir of Fowlis, Bridge of Alford and Rhynie before heading west into Moray. The route will continue back into Aberdeenshire as it passes over the Lecht and through Corgarff before travelling south to Glen Gairn and returning to Ballater.

A number of roads in the Marr area will be closed for the event on a rolling closure basis allowing for fifteen minutes before the first riders arrive and fifteen minutes after the last rider leaves. You can view further information on the route, the road closure timings and frequently asked questions on the Local Community section of the event website Full details of the final road closure timings will be made available to everyone ahead of the event.

Managing Director of WildFox Events, David Fox-Pitt, said:

“The route of the Etape Royale 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.

“We have taken time to ensure we have engaged with as many people in the area as possible through a series of public town hall meetings and visiting those most affected. The local response has been overwhelmingly positive and we will continue to work closely with the local communities to

understand their needs and help support north-east charities and causes. 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 involved.

“We see the potential to attract thousands of cyclists to the event, which will have a significant economic impact on tourism for the surrounding area. This part of Scotland will appeal to any cyclist and the opportunity to participate in a 65 or 100-mile closed-roads challenge in the Cairngorms is one we expect to be very popular. The September date is designed to be towards the end of the cycle sportive season as a finale giving the less-seasoned cyclist more time to build-up to the magic 100-mile distance.”

For more information on the Etape Royale, please visit

More like this…

View all