5,000 places up for grabs and 6,000 people have already registered their interest...

If you've already pre-registered your interest in 2012's edition of the Etape Caledonia – and 6,000 people have – then today's the day you can officially enter. Emails are going out to all pre-registered applicants today, and it's a first-come-first-served allocation, so don't hang about: there's 1,000 fewer places available than there are people registered. If there's any spaces left for non-registered applicants, they'll go on sale on Monday at 1pm.

The 81-mile Etape Caledonia is the UK's first closed-roads sportive and a fixture on the domestic sportive calendar. The 2012 edition will tale place on May 13. Its in its sixth year, and the organisers are confident that next year's ride will be a sellout. 2012 marks a change in charity partner too. In the last three years the event has raised over £1m to help people living with cancer through Macmillan Cancer Support; for the next three years the charity partner will be Marie Curie Cancer Care, who provide care to 31,000 terminally ill patients through a network of 2,700 healthcare professionals.

Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Director of Fundraising, Fabian French, said, “We are extremely proud to be on board as the new charity partner of this premier cycling event and excited to have such an iconic challenge to offer new and existing supporters. Participants will be invited to join our Daffodil Team where we will offer support and advice all the way to the finish line.”

For more information on the Etape Caledonia, head over to www.etapecaledonia.co.uk

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.