14th September 2018 Michael Fahy

One of Scotland’s top cycling events, which raised almost £50,000 for Scotland’s leading Armed Forces charity in 2017, returns for a fifth year – and is even bigger and better. The Poppyscotland Sportive, which was launched in 2014 and voted one of the top three Sportives in Scotland last year by, gives riders a choice of three routes to suit a variety of levels of experience and fitness.

The event, which runs on Sunday, 30th September, and is sponsored by Fred Olsen Renewables, is open to everyone, with riders able to pick routes at lengths of 45, 66 or 100 miles. All three take participants along the beautiful East Lothian coast and then back though its stunning hills and countryside, with the 100-mile circuit also taking riders over the challenging Lammermuir Hills and into the Scottish Borders. The Poppyscotland Sportive is not a closed road event.

A special Centenary addition this year is a timed hill climb just past North Berwick, allowing riders to take on a short sharp hill climb and battle it out to become the ‘King’ or ‘Queen of the Heugh’. More than 1,000 riders are registered to take part – up from around 900 in 2017.

Organiser Katriona Harding said: “Poppyscotland Sportive has sold out each of the past four years and we are nearly sold out yet again. It is one of the most important awareness-raising and fundraising events in our calendar and has grown steadily in popularity since it was first launched in 2014. We have had amazing support from both the cycling community, Police Scotland and East Lothian Council over the past four years, helping us grow this event and create a positive and enjoyable experience for all of our fantastic fundraisers.”

Unlike other large annual events in East Lothian, the Poppyscotland Sportive does not require roads to be closed. Indeed, only a very small stretch of road in Gifford has been set aside for a feeding and watering station which is essential for the safety of our riders.

Katriona added: “Our main aim for the event is to keep pedestrians, residents, road users and cyclists safe. We will have experienced event marshals on the ground managing key route locations during the day, to ensure everyone is safe and that this event to raise funds for Scotland’s Armed Forces community is a huge success once again.”

As well as the much-loved cycling event, entertainment will be provided by samba band Son al Son, a seven-piece group featuring musicians from Cuba, Venezuela and Scotland. They can also relax and enjoy post-event tea and toast at Prestonpans Community Centre.

Best known for running the iconic Scottish Poppy Appeal, Poppyscotland reaches out to those who have served, those still serving, and their families at times of crisis and need by offering vital, practical advice, assistance and funding. The charity believes that no veteran should live without the prospect of employment, good health and a home, and we all have part to play in achieving this.

To take part in the Poppyscotland Sportive, or for more information on the event, please contact Katriona Harding, Events Fundraising Manager at Poppyscotland, on 0131 557 2782 or at