Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial’s 2015 Host Communities Announced
From September 2 – 7, 2015, the Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial will make stops through seven official host communities this year, with support from the Municipal District of Greenview and Parks Canada. Previously announced, the City of Grande Prairie and County of Grande Prairie will host the first two days of the 2015 event. New communities on board that will either host a start or finish are Grande Cache, Jasper, Edson, and Spruce Grove, with Edmonton back as a host for its third year.
“Our host communities are really an integral part of the success of the event,” said Duane Vienneau, Executive Director of the Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial. “Each community is highly involved in the planning of the route and festivals. Their commitment and planning begin months before the race rolls through. Their dedication to this event is one of the many reasons why we are able to showcase Alberta internationally. We are thrilled that all of these communities have come aboard so some of the world’s best mountains and most breathtaking scenery can be seen around the planet.”
Stage 1 will kick-start the 2015 event on Wednesday, September 2 with a Team Time Trial (TTT) in the City of Grande Prairie. The TTT adds an exciting new element to the Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial and will replace the Individual Time Trials of 2013 and 2014. During a TTT, all eight cyclists on a team collectively race against the clock and are required to implement various team strategies to finish in the fastest possible collective time. Teams of the Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial will leave the start line at regular intervals, offering an outstanding experience for all spectators. Stage 2 will race by the scenic boreal forests of the County of Grande Prairie on Thursday, September 3.
The race then heads west towards the Canadian Rocky Mountains during Stage 3. Starting in Grande Cache on Friday, September 4, the race will make its way through the Municipal District of Greenview ultimately finishing Stage 2 at Jasper National Park, supported by Parks Canada.
“The Government of Canada is pleased to welcome the Tour of Alberta to Jasper National Park as the first ever mountain stage of this exhilarating event,” said Jim Eglinski, Member of Parliament for Yellowhead. “We look forward to welcoming participants and spectators to experience and connect with this incredible mountain national park during this exciting international event.”
The Stage 4 race on Saturday, September 5, will take place in Jasper, beginning in the town and finishing on top of Marmot Basin ski resort. With the support of Parks Canada, the race within Jasper National Park will be the site of the Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial’s most challenging King of the Mountain (KOM) competition to date. This stage will play a major factor in who wins the overall KOM and Leader jerseys.
On Sunday, September 6, the race will make its way back east, beginning Stage 5 in Edson. Ultimately, the day will finish in Spruce Grove, the home town of Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, Ryan Anderson, who holds two consecutive titles of the Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial’s Pomeroy Inn and Suites Best Canadian.
“Spruce Grove is excited to be one of the seven official host communities for the Tour of Alberta! We, along with our neighbours from the Town of Stony Plain and Parkland County, look forward to welcoming the cyclists and spectators in September,” said Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston. “This world class elite professional cycling event is an excellent opportunity for all of us to highlight not only our communities, but our beautiful province, to the world.”
Edmonton will host the Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial’s final circuit on Monday, September 7. Stage 6 held on Labour Day Monday in Edmonton’s downtown core promises to be an exciting finale as cyclists battle to make the overall leader board.
“The 2015 Tour of Alberta is definitely different from the past two editions,” said Alberta’s Ryan Anderson, who placed 5th overall in last year’s race as top Canadian. “This year, we’re taking a more northerly route and will hit the high mountains for the first time. The stop in Jasper National Park should be phenomenal and put a different slant on the overall outcome. We will also have a team time trial, which you don’t see very often in major stage races. The final two days with a finish in and around Edmonton will be familiar for me, because I grew up training on many of those roads.”
Exact routes by stage will be released in the Spring.
“As a province-wide event whose route changes each year, we are thrilled to bring this world-class event to so many new host communities in 2015,” explains Brian Jolly, Chair of the Alberta Peloton Association, “As a part of this northern route, we are able to include a true mountain stage for the first time ever. This aspect is crucial as the Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial continues to gain momentum in the international professional cycling community. We are already looking forward to a tour focused primarily in Southern Alberta in 2016.”
Planning for the 2016 Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial host communities will commence in the Spring of 2015.
Also announced was the Tour of Alberta VIP Experience managed by Mountain Madness Tours, a unique opportunity for cycling enthusiasts to experience the 2015 Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial. In collaboration with Mountain Madness Tours and Travel Alberta, participants will have the opportunity to take in VIP experiences, such as riding the TTT course, driving alongside the pros in official team cars and watching the race from the best VIP hospitality areas. Additionally, participants will get to cycle through some of the 2015 host communities and other scenic areas in the Rocky Mountains. Registration for the Tour of Alberta VIP Experience managed by Mountain Madness Tours is now open.
More information can be found at TourofAlberta.ca.
September 2: Stage 1 City of Grande Prairie (TTT)
September 3: Stage 2 County of Grande Prairie
September 4: Stage 3 Grande Cache to Jasper National Park
September 5: Stage 4 Jasper
September 6: Stage 5 Edson to Spruce Grove
September 7: Stage 6 Edmonton (Circuit Race)