Big-Race Champions, World and National Champions
CALGARY, ALBERTA – The Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial, Canada’s largest professional cycling race and one of Alberta’s biggest international sporting events, will kick off this evening at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
Starting with the first rider at 6:05 pm, the 118 world-class field will roll off the time trial ramp in one-minute intervals in a quest to garner the Province of Alberta Leader jersey, where riders will race a 4-kilometre course solely on the grounds of Canada Olympic Park. Just over 2.5 kilometres of the race will be flat and fast before racing 1.4 kilometres up the steep Canada Olympic Road to finish at the summit behind the ski jumps and bobsled start house.
This year’s lineup of cyclists includes world and national champions.
“We are thrilled to bring some of the world’s most talented and competitive professional cyclists back to Alberta,” said Tour of Alberta Executive Director, Duane Vienneau. “Some of the best young talent in the world will be competing this year. Combined with some great veteran riders, we will see the world’s best cyclists from more than 20 countries race throughout the province this week.”
The list of big name cyclists include American Tom Danielson of Team Garmin-Sharp, who recently won the Tour of Utah and placed second in the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado last week; Lithuanian national-champion Ramunas Navardauskas of Team Garmin-Sharp, a stage winner at this year’s Tour de France; The Netherlands’s Theo Bos of Belkin Pro Cycling, a five-time World Champion in track cycling and an Olympic silver medalist; The Netherlands’s Steven Kruijswijk of Belkin Pro Cycling, the 15th place finisher in the 2014 Tour de France; The Netherland’s Tom Dumoulin of Team Giant Shimano, the 5th place finisher in the prestigious Tour of Switzerland this year; Australian Matthew Goss of Orica-GREENEDGE, a two-time Tour of Italy stage winner and his teammate Darryl Impey, the first South African to lead the Tour de France; Slovakia’s Matej Mohoric, the current Junior World Champion; American Kiel Reijnen, a stage winner and one-day leader at last month’s USA Pro Challenge; and Romania’s Serghei Tvetcov of Team Jelly Belly presented by MAXXIS, the third place finisher at the USA Pro Challenge, one of North America’s biggest cycling races.
“From the history of the location to the steep hill, the course is super cool,” said Danielson. “The race starts with a bang this year. I really like it. Calgary, and Canada for that matter, is in for a great race. Fans will be able to get up close on the climb and see each rider individually in an unique environment. Where else can you see a free, world-class event in a venue like this. I’m pretty pumped.”
The 15 teams are loaded with Canada’s top talent, including Ryan Anderson of OptumHealth presented by Kelly Benefits team, who was 8th overall and top Canadian in last year’s race and his teammate Will Routley, who won the King of the Mountains jersey at this year’s Amgen Tour of California; Albertan Nic Hamilton of Team Jelly Belly presented by MAXXIS; Team Smartstop’s Rob Britton, who finished as the top Canadian in the recent USA Pro Chalenge and former national-champion Zach Bell; 5-Hour Energy’s Bruno Langlois; Perrick Naud and Ben Chaddock of Garneau-Quebecor team. The Canadian National Team will be highlighted by bright, young talent, including Hugo Houle and Cody Canning.
“This race means a lot to Canadian cycling,” said Canadian National Team Director Gord Fraser, who was one of Canada’s all-time winningest professional cyclists. “Canada is developing a lot of talented riders now that will be able to be showcased to the world in this race.”
This year’s race will start in Calgary then transfer to Lethbridge for Stage 1 before heading north through Innisfail, Red Deer, Wetaskiwin, the Edmonton Garrison, Edmonton Northlands and Strathcona County before the ultimate finish in Edmonton’s downtown core and scenic river valley.
Tonight’s event will kick off broadcast coverage of the event live on Rogers SportsNet. Coverage will air from 6:00 to 8:30 pm Tuesday night. More than 100 countries will air the daily telecast of this year’s race.
“We’re proud welcome the Tour of Alberta back to Calgary for a second year,” says Marco De Iaco, Vice President Sales, Sport and Major Events, Tourism Calgary. “It’s a fantastic event that has wide-reaching benefits for the local and provincial community, economy and tourism industries.”
Overflow parking for the SUBWAY Calgary Prologue is available at the Sunnyside Home and Garden Centre (3439 69 St NW), where shuttle services to Canada Olympic Park will run every 15 minutes from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Spectators are also encouraged to take the LRT to the 69 St. station, where shuttles will also be running.
More information can be found at www.tourofalberta.ca.