Tour of Alberta comes to City tomorrow

  • Sep. 3, 2014 2:59 p.m.

The Tour of Alberta will be coming through Red Deer tomorrow and race officials are looking forward to their return.

Red Deer will host the second stage of the race, which kicked off on Tuesday in Calgary. The second stage will start in Innisfail. The stage is highlighted by two circuits around Sylvan Lake, which will be a great sight for spectators, before routing into three tough circuits and a finish into Red Deer’s City centre. During the inaugural event in 2013, the race featured the same short, steep climb up Red Deer’s 55th St. which helped a breakaway stick, officials have said.

The second stage of the race will finish in downtown Red Deer.

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’ Theo Bos of Belkin Pro Cycling, a five-time World Champion in track cycling and an Olympic silver medalist; The Netherlands’ Steven Kruijswijk of Belkin Pro Cycling, the 15th place finisher in the 2014 Tour de France; The Netherlands’ Tom Dumoulin of Team Giant Shimano, the fifth 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.

The 15 teams are loaded with Canada’s top talent, including Ryan Anderson of OptumHealth presented by Kelly Benefits team, who was eighth 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 Challenge 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, organizers say.

This year’s race will start in Calgary and 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 river valley.

“Everywhere we go people are excited. And why wouldn’t you be? You have the opportunity to have the best cyclists in the world come through your community and you get to see them up close and personal,” said Vienneau. “This is the only professional stage race of this caliber in the country.”

Meanwhile, during the Stage 2 phases which includes Innisfail to Red Deer, the following roads will be affected from 12:10 to 3:45 p.m. – Hwys. 11, 11A, 20, 54, 592, 597, 781, 815; Range Roads 10,13, 255, 271A; Township roads: 390, 391, 393, 393A, 394; as well as 60 St. and Memorial Dr. in Sylvan Lake and 30 Ave., 48 Ave. and 50 St. in Red Deer.