This week, Red Deer will be a part of an event that organizers say is unlike any event Alberta has ever seen.
The Tour of Alberta marks Canada’s first major international professional cycling race, and the province’s first taste of the growing global sport of cycling.
“The City is buzzing as we get ready for this exciting event to hit our streets,” said Mayor Morris Flewwelling. “Never before has a peloton of bikes sped through our downtown. The race and festival will be like nothing you have ever seen in our City before.”
Red Deer will be a part of Stage Two of the event on Sept. 5. The cyclists will be starting in Devon and finishing in Red Deer. Riders will enter Red Deer on Hwy. 11 to 30 Ave. then turn south on 30 Ave. to Ross St.
Heading west on Ross St. they will enter the downtown loop at the corner of Ross St. and 40th Ave.
Riders will complete the loop three times. Racers are often traveling upwards of 75km on the sprints or flats into the finish line. The finish line will be in downtown Red Deer (50 St. between 47 and 48 Ave.)
“Red Deer’s finish line festival will be an event you don’t won’t want to miss,” said Liz Taylor, executive director, Red Deer Tourism. “It will be a great downtown party featuring food, culture, entertainment and fitness for the whole family.”
The race will temporarily close select roads in and around Red Deer’s downtown area. The finish line and festival area is Ross St. from 47 Ave. to 49 Ave.
Country band Emerson Drive will be headlining the Stage 2 finish.
“Emerson Drive is a great addition to the festival,” said George Berry, local organization chair. “The race itself will be a sight to see and add entertainment of this caliber and Red Deer will certainly have a phenomenal day for residents to take part in.”
This area will be closed starting at noon Sept. 4 until midnight Sept. 5.
The intersections at 47 Ave. and 48 Ave. will, however, remain open during this time. Several other downtown roads will also be closed during the race.
A full list of road closures and maps can be found on the City’s web site.
Red Deerians are encouraged to ride their bikes into downtown and secure bicycle parking which will be available for the event. A bike corral will also be located in the green space of Central Middle School, at 48 Ave. and 51 St.
Bike parking is free and volunteers will secure the area from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 5th.
The Tour of Alberta is scheduled for Sept. 3 – 8 throughout the province.
This world-class event is estimated to travel more than 800 kms of urban and rural Alberta roads and will include more than 50 communities. The event also features more than 15 of the world’s top teams, including teams that competed in the Tour de France earlier this summer.
Also, a ‘once in a lifetime experience’ will be given away as part of the Stage 2 – Devon to Red Deer finish. One individual will have the chance to win the experience to ride in a team car within the peloton of the race.
The peloton can be traveling upwards of 50 km/hr along the route and up to 75 km/hr when they sprint to an exciting finish in Red Deer. The winner will be escorted to Devon the morning of Sept. 5 where they will be assigned a car.
This car will travel with the race for the route to Red Deer. Individuals will see and experience race details from a front and centre vantage point like no other community member.
“This is an experience like no other,” said George Berry, chairperson of the local organizing committee in Red Deer. “Being within the race is not like seeing it on the sidelines. It will be something someone will never forget.
“This is particularly exciting as it in the first year this event is being held,” said Berry. “The winner can say they were part of the very first Tour of Alberta in a way no one else can.”
For more information, visit at www.reddeer.ca/tourofalberta or www.facebook.com/tourofalbertareddeer.