Tour of Alberta elite bike race returning to province

The Tour of Alberta bicycle race is coming back to the province for a second year and Calgary has been chosen to host the opening weekend.

2nd annual professional stage bicycle race begins in Calgary on Sept. 2

Australia's Rohan Dennis, centre with yellow jersey, climbs a hill with the rest of the pack during stage four of the 2013 Tour of Alberta cycling race in Black Diamond, Alta. Race organizers announced the second annual event takes place Sept. 2-7 this year. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The Tour of Alberta bicycle race is coming back to the province for a second year and Calgary has been chosen to host the opening weekend. 

The professional cycling stage race runs from Sept. 2-7 and will also make stops in Lethbridge, Innisfail, Red Deer, Wetaskiwin, Strathcona County and Edmonton.

“The commitment by our host communities is fundamental,” said Tour of Alberta executive director Duane Vienneau in a release.

“They are true partners in every sense of the word. Through their commitment, we will be able to stage a second and successful race across the province of Alberta.”

Organizers say 120 of the world’s best cyclists will compete in this year’s tour, riding in 15 teams of eight cyclists each. Last year’s inaugural Tour of Alberta featured athletes from 25 countries.

U.S.-based Team Garmin-Sharp — whose Australian rider Rohan Dennis won last year’s event — has signed up for the second annual race, along with the Netherland’s top team Belkin Pro Cycling.

“To attract two of the world’s top teams out of the gate is a great sign of acceptance at the world level for this race,” said Tour of Alberta chairman Brian Jolly in a release.

The opening stage in Calgary will be a short time trial — called a prologue — where individual riders race against the clock.

The rider with the lowest time will be the race’s leader as the tour moves on to southern Alberta and then up to the Edmonton area.

Course Summary:

  • Prologue: Sept. 2 – Calgary (Time Trial).
  • Stage 1: Sept. 3 – Lethbridge (Circuit Race).
  • Stage 2: Sept. 4 – Innisfail to Red Deer (Road Race).
  • Stage 3: Sept. 5 – Wetaskiwin to Edmonton (Road Race).
  • Stage 4:  Sept. 6 – Edmonton to Strathcona County (Road Race).
  • Stage 5: Sept. 7 – Edmonton (Circuit Race).