New and Diverse Route Features Two Mountain Top Finishes
Edmonton, Alberta – The Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial, September 2 – 7, 2015, announced a nearly 900 kilometre long monumental six-stage route that will feature a Team Time Trial, two mountain top finishes, and race that contains six sectors over dirt.
“The first thing that jumps out at you is the diversity,” said Team SmartStop’s Rob Britton, one of Canada’s top professional cyclists and top 10 finisher at the 2015 Amgen Tour of California. “This course is a huge change from the past two editions. It really offers up some of the great things that make up northwest Alberta. Not to take away from the past two years which was mostly flat which favoured the sprinters, but this is a great stage race with what appears to be a really challenging course. As a Canadian, I can’t wait for this race. My goal would be a top 10, or, if all goes right, maybe a podium position. The route favours me for sure with all the climbing.”
The race’s Executive Director, Duane Vienneau, added, “We’ve worked diligently with our host communities, government officials, and technical partners to create a unique course. From the inception of our first-ever Team Time Trial, the two mountain finishes, and our longest stage to date, we’re confident that the 2015 race will be one that intrigues fans. This will be one for the ages and a postcard of our province to the world.”
The following is a summary of each stage:
SEPTEMBER 2 | STAGE 1 TEAM TIME TRIAL | CITY OF GRANDE PRAIRIE | 19.6 km
The overall start kicks-off in new host community, City of Grande Prairie, the youngest city in Canada and one of the fastest growing in North America. Stage 1’s Team Time Trial is a relatively flat, but technical course. Teams will race against the clock in a 19.6 kilometre flat route around the streets of Grande Prairie in the southern edge of the Peace River region; the first-place rider from the winning team will don the Province of Alberta Leader jersey at the East Link Centre, the site of the start/finish line. The Team Time Trial marks the last race before the UCI World Championships, September 19-27, in Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A., in which a Team Time Trial will be contested. The Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial will be a big tune-up race for the world’s best teams.
SEPTEMBER 3 | STAGE 2 | COUNTY OF GRANDE PRAIRIE | 171.6 km
The second stage is a looped course in the County of Grande Prairie that starts and finishes at Evergreen Park. As the race heads through Wembley, riders will pass by the unique Phillip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, one of the world’s foremost on-site paleontology centres which has been named by architecture magazine Azure as one of the ‘Top 10 Projects to Watch’ internationally. The first 130 kilometres are primarily flat and the final 40 kilometres feature two 20 kilometre loops with a 1.5 kilometre climb out of the scenic Wapiti river valley; the first Go Auto King of the Mountain jersey points of 2015 will be awarded at those climbs. These hills offer a great launch pad for late attacks. Can a climber breakaway and steal the day, or will the flat last 8 kilometres bring the sprinters back in time.
SEPTEMBER 4 | STAGE 3 | GRANDE CACHE SUPPORTED BY MUNICIPAL DISTRICT OF GREENVIEW TO JASPER NATIONAL PARK (MIETTE HOT SPRINGS) | 181.8 km
Stage 3 will start within the Municipal District of Greenview in new host community, Grande Cache, which is nestled on a plateau surrounded by 21 mountain peaks. Cyclists will race down scenic Highway 40 surrounded by stunning wilderness into Jasper National Park, one of Alberta’s major attractions for both national and international tourists. Cyclists will face two dauntingly high-ranked categorized climbs in the final 17 kilometres. The last climb is more than five kilometres long and averages 8% grade on Miette Road up to the renowned Miette Hot Springs famed as the hottest known springs in the Canadian Rockies. This will mark a historic first for the Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial as its first mountain top finish since the event’s inception.
SEPTEMBER 5 | STAGE 4 | TOWN OF JASPER TO MARMOT BASIN SKI AREA | 162.1 km
Stage 4 is contested entirely within Jasper National Park. Beginning in the iconic mountain town of Jasper, the race includes a three lap circuit through the incredible Icefields Parkway and finishes with the event’s second mountain top finish of the 2015 route at one of Alberta’s premier winter destinations for skiing and snowboarding, Marmot Basin. The final climb is 12 kilometres long and finishes at more than 1 600 metres elevation, the highest in the event’s history.
SEPTEMBER 6 | STAGE 5 | EDSON TO SPRUCE GROVE | 206.2 km
Arguably with the potential to be one of the most exciting – and certainly the longest – stage in the event’s history, Stage 5 contains a dastardly 206 kilometre course that features 56.4 kilometres of dirt roads over six sectors from Edson to Spruce Grove. Stage 5 offers one of the most diverse courses of any major professional race in North America this year. The race will run west to east, and if prevailing winds are blowing, the conditions could enable cyclists to travel at remarkably extreme, fast speeds. Spruce Grove is the hometown of Ryan Anderson (Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies), the winner of the Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial Pomeroy Inn & Suite’s Best Canadian jersey for two consecutive years.
SEPTEMBER 7 | STAGE 6 | EDMONTON | 124.1 km
The 2015 Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial finishes in Alberta’s capital city of Edmonton. The final stage will feature the same course used in 2014, which saw South Africa’s Daryl Impey outsprint the Netherland’s Tom Dumoulin and Canada’s Ryan Anderson to capture the overall win by a mere second; this was the closest margin of victory on the world circuit in 2014. Stage 6’s circuit features three time bonuses, three Go Auto KOM sections, 11 climbs up the steep slope of Bellamy Hill, and a start and finish at Edmonton’s iconic Sir Winston Churchill Square.
For stage-by-stage route maps, please visit www.tourofalberta.ca/race.