Eleven Alberta communities will serve as the official host communities for the inaugural year for the Tour of Alberta pro cycling Event over six days at the beginning of September 2013.
While the detailed 850-kilometre route for the Tour of Alberta is still being finalized, on March 5, the event organizers, the Alberta Peloton Association (APA), announced the list of communities that will host the Start and Finish for each stage of the race.
“For its inaugural year, the APA is proposing a route anchored in Alberta communities with a strong reputation for hosting successful cultural and community events,” said Brian Jolly, Chair of the APA and the 2013 Tour of Alberta. “It speaks well for our province that we had a very long list of communities to choose from, and it was not an easy task. However, we are very pleased to announce 11 communities who have enthusiastically embraced being part of the first year of the Tour, and we are excited to be able to showcase them, along with the entire province, to the world.”
The 2013 Tour of Alberta will start with a prologue to its five-stage race on Tuesday, September 3 in Edmonton. A short individual time trial before a stage race used to determine which rider wears the leader’s jersey on the first stage, the prologue represents the only day of the event where the start and finish are in the same community. The official start of the five-stage race will be held on Wednesday, September 4 in Strathcona County, travel through Alberta’s industrial heartland, race down rural roads through central Alberta, circle through the Canadian Badlands, climb the Canadian Rockies through Kananaskis Country and wind through the foothills towards an exciting finish circuit in downtown Calgary on Sunday, September 8.
The official Host Communities for the 2013 Tour of Alberta are:
Tuesday, September 3
Prologue – Edmonton
Wednesday, September 4
Overall Race Start – Strathcona County; Finish – Camrose
Thursday, September 5
Start – Devon; Finish – Red Deer
Friday, September 6
Start – Strathmore; Finish – Drumheller
Saturday, September 7
Start – Black Diamond; Finish – Canmore
Sunday, September 8
Start – Okotoks; Overall Race Finish — Calgary
“In addition to serving as either the start of finish of a specific stage, each community will also feature a festival experience with fitness and education displays, food, entertainment, and the chance for fans to meet and mingle with the athletes,” said APA Executive Director Duane Vienneau. “Every festival will also be unique in that it will showcase the character and attractions of the specific county, town or city, so each event will be a different experience.”
A number of other Alberta rural communities, counties and municipal districts will also have the chance to be part of the event as the cyclists pass through in the race to the finish each day. Further details on the full route will be announced in April, and additional details on the festivals and events in each community will be announced as plans are finalized.
“It is extremely exciting that the majority of the host communities for this international professional cycling event are located in rural Alberta,” said Marie Logan, chair of the Rural Alberta Development Fund (RADF), the founding partner for the Tour of Alberta. “It is even more exciting that cycling fans and festival lovers from around the province and around the world will get to experience, or see, the warm hospitality, attractions and spirit in each of these wonderful communities, and along the roads and points in between.”
The estimated 130 professional cyclists from around the world, along with their support teams, and race support staff and crews will be based out of Edmonton for up to four nights preceding, and for the first two days of the event. On September 5, the race will overnight in Red Deer before moving to Calgary for the balance of the event.
More information on the Tour of Alberta and the 11 host communities can be found at www.tourofalberta.ca. Follow the Tour of Alberta on Twitter @TourofAlberta or on Facebook at TourofAlberta.