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An Arran High School teacher has won the Etape Loch Ness cycle sportive.
Catriona Lockie, who was the first female to complete the 66 mile (106 km) race around Loch Ness, finished in two hours, 58 minutes and 12 seconds, which is just over the women’s record of 2:54:59 seconds she set last year.
Catriona, who rides for Torvelo Racing, is a religious, moral and philosophical studies teacher at the high school.
The Etape Loch Ness cycle sportive is the largest closed road cycle sportive in Scotland with more than 6,100 cyclists taking part in the event which helps raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
This year more than 1,000 cyclists competed in aid of the charity, adding £220,000 to bring the total to £1.43 million raised by Etape Loch Ness riders since 2014.
For the first time in the history of the Etape Loch Ness, there were both joint first and joint third place finishers for the males, split by just one second. Richie Sim and Darren Dean were joint third finishers, in a time of 2:46:05. For the female riders, Lynne Cordiner of Moray Firth Cycling Club finished second in a time of 3:02:00, followed by Natalie Munro of Moray Gravel Collective in 03:03:54.
The Etape Loch Ness course includes the King of the Mountain, located after Fort Augustus, 34 miles (55 km) into the route, and consists of a 4.8 mile (9 km) climb to the top of the Glendoe summit. The fastest male and female for this section are crowned King and Queen of the Mountain. This year, Andy Cunningham and Emily Palmer took the titles with times of 19:35 and 26:02 respectively, and each received a special jersey.
Malcolm Sutherland, event director of Etape Loch Ness, said: ‘Congratulations to everyone who took on the Etape Loch Ness. Riders came from across Scotland, the UK and as far afield as Australia, Chile and the United Arab Emirates to experience the event and Highland hospitality – and it did not disappoint.
‘Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s Etape Loch Ness a success, including the Highland Council and our other partners, our sponsors, our many volunteers and the communities along the route. The event also raises crucial funds for charity including our charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support. Well done to you all.’
Malcolm added: ‘For those who want to do it again, you can register your interest to be the first to hear when entries opens for next year’s event. We look forward to seeing you there.’
Entry for the 2023 Etape Loch Ness, taking place on April 23, will open later this year. Entry traditionally sells out within hours, so those interested in signing up for 2023 should register their interest now at www.etapelochness.com.
Catriona Lockie on the winner’s podium at the Etape Loch Ness cycling sportive. No_B17LochNess01
The first of the leading male riders cross the finishing line. NO_B17LochNess02
A dramatic photograph of the riders as they sweep past Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness. NO_B17LochNews03