Exol Lubricants-sponsored cycling team to tackle Etape Loch Ness
The Exol Lubricants-sponsored WSCC cycling squad will take to the picturesque roads surrounding Loch Ness for the 2023 Etape Loch Ness, a 66-mile mass participation cycling sportive.
Based in Inverness, the circular, closed-road route around the famous Loch takes in arduous climbs, including a King of the Mountain segment featuring an almost five-mile climb gaining 380 metres in height with gradients of up to 12 percent.
The team taking on Etape Loch Ness on Sunday 23rd April is made up of Exol Lubricants’ export sales manager Paul Eastwood, plus Jack Appleton, Andy Turner, Pete Tickle, John Pietsch and Ben Pearson, and was launched in 2020 during the first Covid pandemic lockdown, as a means to keep the team active and fit.
Paul Eastwood, export sales manager at Exol Lubricants, said: “Etape Loch Ness is a must-do event for cyclists who enjoy sportives and with such a demanding route the whole team are really looking forward to the challenge.”
Various Exol Lubricants customers across Scotland are also due to be on the start line and joining Exol’s WSCC for the tough event, that has a cut-off time of five and a half hours.
“Outdoor exercise with your mates is a great way of keeping fit and looking after our mental health. Taking part in an event with a stunning backdrop such as Loch Ness will really focus the mind, and we’ll be keeping an eye out for Nessie!” Eastwood says.
“If any of our customers across Scotland who are also taking part in the Etape Loch Ness see us, please come and say hello!”
The route starts out of Inverness with an exposed section to Drumnadrochit, followed by an undulating part of the course to Fort Augustus featuring incredible views out over Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness.
The second half puts riders through their paces with a gruelling climb to Glendoe Summit stretching riders over 1200 ft of ascent, before the ride down to Foyers brings some welcome open, rolling roads. A last sting in the tail welcomes riders to the business end of the sportive with a climb up Aldourie Brae, before the home stretch back into Inverness.
The team is supported by Exol with the lubricants company purchasing the team jerseys when the group first started out in 2020. Exol Lubricants’ branding appears on the backs of the WSCC team kit.
Last year, WSCC completed Ride London, a 100-mile route that started on Victoria Embankment, before taking in rolling Essex countryside, before returning to London and finishing at the iconic Tower Bridge.
In 2021 the WSCC squad completed the Sea-to-Sea challenge (C2C), cycling from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Tynemouth in North Tyneside, raising money for three charities: The Alzheimer’s Society, The Christie Cancer Charity and MIND, and taking in two arduous 600m climbs up Hartside and Nenthead.