Dame Sarah Storey has launched the Etape Mercia, the third event in IMG Challenger World's Etape Series which also includes the Etape Caledonia and Etape Pennines.
The 69 mile cyclosportive will take place on 18 August 2013 on a closed road course starting and finishing in Oulton Park, West Cheshire. The route takes in Beeston Castle, Little Switzerland, Delamere Forest, Shropshire Union Canal and the Cheshire Ridge. Many of the roads are the same as those Storey used to train on prior to winning four cycling gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
The Etape Mercia is being billed as the "little brother" to the Etape Caledonia and is ideal for those who are daunted by the longer distances and hillier routes of other UK sportives.
Entries don't open until 29 January but you can register your interest now at www.etapemercia.co.uk. The field is limited to 3500 but there will also be 400 free charity pledge places available to those willing to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.