EDMONTON, Alberta – Cannondale Drapac’s Wouter Wippert of The Netherlands outsprinted the field to win his second stage of the four-day ATB Tour of Alberta as American Evan Huffman of Rally Cycling held on to convincingly win the overall title of the 5th edition of the ATB Tour of Alberta Monday in the Province’s capital city of Edmonton.
“You could say this is the biggest victory of my career, for sure for an overall title,” said Huffman, who won two stages of the Amgen Tour of California earlier this year. “My Rally Cycling team fought off a lot of attacks and kept me in good position all day. But, that’s the way this team has been all year and why we continue to put up good results.”
On Monday, the 27-year-old Huffman finished with the group and bested his teammate Sepp Kuss by 18 seconds with American Alex Howes of Cannondale-Drapac by 31 seconds to round out the podium.
Jack Burke, a 22-year-old riding for Aevolo, won both the Pomeroy Inn & Suites Canada 150 Best Canadian Jersey and FC Edmonton Best Young Rider Jersey. Burke finishes 6th overall, the third highest overall finish by a Canadian in the history of the ATB Tour of Alberta.
Another young Canadian, 20-year-old Alec Cowan of Calgary won the Lexus of Edmonton King of the Mountains Jersey. Both Burke and Cowan are part of a strong youth movement in Canadian cycling and a sign of good times ahead for the sport.
“In 2014, I was watching this race on the side of the road in Calgary with my family, and now I am racing against these guys,” said Cowan. “This race is special for me, and I think for all the Canadians in the race. It’s our biggest and most important stage race. So, for me, to earn this jersey is special and I look forward to coming back to this race next year.”
Monday’s crowd was the biggest of the four days and one of the bigger crowds in the past five years according to race organizers.
CEO and President of the ATB Tour of Alberta, Scott Fisher said: “The Edmonton finish provides us great hope for the future. We’ve had a lot of great comments from the athletes, team directors, sponsors and fans this year. This race has a lot of pride and we look forward to the next level.”
The race was broadcast to 180 countries and 335 million households daily.
Alberta Peloton Association, the non-profit organization, that owns the event, Peter Verhesen said: “The athletes put on a good show all week and the race is on solid footing. We’ve had some great response this week and we were able to showcase a nice part of the province. We look forward to a bright future.”
As for the final stage, which was battled with blistering speeds that averaged almost 47 kilometres per hour, set up the strong Cannondale-Drapac team perfectly.
Wippert was riding with extra motivation as his team, which turned in arguably the biggest result in team history in July when Rigoberto Uran placed second in the Tour de France, said the team’s three consecutive victories were “good timing for a lot of reasons.” Until Saturday’s victory in Spruce Grove, Wippert hadn’t won a race since 2015 and found good form throughout the week of competition at the ATB Tour of Alberta.
The final stage in Edmonton saw a total of nine different breakaways, and at the end, none of them succeeded. Rally Cycling and Cannondale-Drapac were just too strong and controlled the race with the final outcome playing in both of their favors.
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ATB TOUR OF ALBERTA STAGES
Stage 1 – Sept. 1 / Jasper to Marmot Basin Ski Area (Jasper National Park), Road Race
Presented by Delta Air Lines
Stage Winner: Evan Huffman (USA), Rally Cycling, time: 3 hr, 48 min. 46 sec.
Stage 2 – September 2 / Spruce Gove, Road Race
Presented by Delta Air Lines
Stage Winner: Wouter Wippert (NED), Cannondale Drapac, time: 2 hr, 49 min. 36 sec.
Stage 3 – September 3 / Edmonton (University of Alberta), Circuit Race
Presented by Delta Lodge at Kananaskis
Stage Winner: Alex Howes (USA), Cannondale Drapac, time: 2 hr, 30 min. 31 sec.
Stage 4 – September 4 / Edmonton (Churchill Square), Circuit Race
Presented by EllisDon
Stage Winner: Wouter Wippert (NED), Cannondale Drapac, time: 2 hr, 46 minutes, 27 sec.
ATB TOUR OF ALBERTA JERSEY WINNERS
- ATB Financial Leader Jersey: Evan Huffman (USA), Rally Racing
- EllisDon Sprint Points Jersey: Wouter Wippert (NED), Cannondale-Drapac
- Lexus of Edmonton KOM Jersey: Alex Cowan (CAN), Silber Racing Team
- FC Edmonton Best Young Rider Jersey: Jack Burke (CAN), Aevolo
- Pomeroy Inn & Suites Canada 150 Best Canadian Jersey: Jack Burke (CAN), Aevolo