KEY TIME TRIAL LATE IN RACE
Edmonton, Alberta – The Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial, set to hit Alberta roads September 1 through 5, 2016, announced the 606-kilometre stage by stage route today. A time trial contested late in the week is considered one of the unique features of this edition of the race.
The 2016 Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial will feature a total of seven sprint lines for points and nine King of the Mountains (or KOM) lines for points.
“The individual time trial late in the race will definitely be a decisive factor as well as the final circuit race in Edmonton, with the sleeper being the first stage,” said Danny Summerhill, a rider for the American-based United Healthcare team. “We missed last year’s race which included a lot of mountains. This seems a lot more rolling, but nonetheless very competitive. A lot of races are decided by climbers as general classification contenders. This course will make it wide open, and gives me extra motivation. This was one of my favourite races on our calendar when we raced it. We’re super pumped to return and we can’t wait to get back up there and hit it straight on.”
The race’s CEO, Duane Vienneau, added, “This is definitely a different course than last year, which offered stages in high mountains and a team time trial. We feel this course offers yet another look at Alberta and highlights some new areas for international and national television viewers. We’re excited with the overall start in Lethbridge noting that this course is a tough one. We end with what’s become a fan favourite with the circuit in Edmonton.”
The following is a summary of each stage:
SEPTEMBER 1 | STAGE 1 | LETHBRIDGE | CIRCUIT RACE | 106.9 km
The overall start kicks-off in a city familiar to the Tour, Lethbridge, who previously hosted a stage two years ago. This year’s route will use part of the course from 2014 with an abridged circuit. Stage 1 will be contested over nine laps of 11.7-kilometres in length with a steep, challenging climb out of the river valley featured. The 106.9 kilometre race is considered “the sleeper stage” by course director Jeff Corbett of Medalist Sports, due to the fact that a small group or individual could slip off the front of the pack and gain valuable time on competitors. The first yellow Province of Alberta Leader Jersey of the 2016 Tour will be awarded to the first place finisher of the stage, which includes a 10-second time bonus.
SEPTEMBER 2 | POMEROY INN & SUITES STAGE 2 | KANANASKIS TO OLDS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY | ROAD RACE | 182 km
Departing in an area known as “Alberta’s Mountain Playground” with over 50 interconnected provincial parks and recreation areas, the peloton will begin Pomeroy Inn & Suites Stage 2 at the Delta Lodge at Kananaskisbefore embarking on their 182 kilometre quest. This stage includes the biggest climb of the 2016 Tour before the peloton encounters predominately rolling and flat terrain through Mountain View County, nestled against the picturesque foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Upon making their way to one of Alberta’s esteemed college-towns, Olds, the race will feature three exciting finishing circuits in what is expected to be a thrilling mass sprint finish.
SEPTEMBER 3 | STAGE 3 | ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CLEARWATER COUNTY TO DRAYTON VALLEY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE DRAYTON VALLEY HOSPITALITY & TOURISM AUTHORITY | ROAD RACE | 181.2 km
Stage 3 will start at Rocky Mountain House in Clearwater County and route north to Drayton Valley. This predominately flat 181.2 kilometre stage features 7 kilometres of gravel road, the only dirt sector of this year’s race. With a flat stage promoting high speeds, and very technical finish circuits within the town of Drayton Valley, another exhilarating sprint finish is expected which is bound to provide a thrilling sight for spectators.
SEPTEMBER 4 | STAGE 4 | EDMONTON (HAWRELAK PARK) | INDIVIDUAL TIME TRIAL | 12.1 km
Stage 4 is considered the most critical stage of the 2016 Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial; the individual time trial (ITT) will be contested at Edmonton’s charming Hawrelak Park, using a portion of the same course as ITU World Triathlon Edmonton that day. This relatively short individual race against the clock features a steep climb, descent of the River Valley featured in the next day’s circuit race, and the daunting curves of Edmonton’s Groat Road.
SEPTEMBER 5 | DELTA AIR LINES STAGE 5 | EDMONTON (CHURCHILL SQUARE) | 124.1 km
Delta Air Lines Stage 5 will be hosted in Edmonton at Churchill Square, utilizing the iconic course featuring a 121 kilometer 11 lap circuit through the city’s downtown core. The circuit has birthed dramatic finishes, including Orica-GreenEDGE’s Daryl Impey’s improbable come-from-behind win in 2014 over Tom Dumoulin. The course will be 11 laps of 11.9-kilometres featuring the short steep slopes of Bellamy Hill. This year’s race is expected to be decided by seconds again and could come down to the final time bonus of 10 seconds provided to winner of the stage. The thrilling circuit has proven to be both an electrifying spectacle for fans and a competitive course for the cyclists.
For more information and stage-by-stage route maps, please visit www.TourofAlberta.ca.