Editorial

Tour of Alberta

What a fantastic way to kick off September as the highly-anticipated Tour of Alberta arrives in the City Thursday.

The Tour of Alberta is a six-stage race, which began in Edmonton on Tuesday, and wraps up in Calgary on Sept. 8, with stage routes traveling throughout rural Alberta, villages, towns and small cities, most of which rarely, if ever, have had the benefit of seeing, let alone hosting, major international sporting events in their communities.

It’s also a fantastic chance for local residents to get an exciting close-up look at such an event, and there has been plenty of anticipation building for months about the Tour of Alberta which is also described as a professional bicycle race promoted under Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rules.

The approximate total distance of the route is than 850km as well. The event is also expected to draw many elite cycling teams, including international pro teams – some of the same teams that compete in the Tour de France — and up to eight Pro Continental, Continental, and National teams from around the world.

According to the event’s web site, the Tour of Alberta “enters the realms of the professional cycling circuit with a star-studded field, as 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans of BMC Racing team and the world’s No. 2-ranked rider Peter Sagan of Cannondale Pro Cycling and Canadian superstar and 2012 Tour of Italy champion Ryder Hesjedal of Team Garmin-Sharp headline the list of 120 cyclists competing for the overall title.”

Red Deer will be a part of Stage Two of the event Sept. 5 as the cyclists start in Devon and finish in Red Deer. Riders will enter Red Deer on Hwy. 11 to 30 Ave. then turn south on 30 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.)

This is the time when Red Deerians can join in another aspect of the massive event through a finish line festival complete with food, culture and entertainment.

The finish line and festival area is Ross St. from 47 Ave. to 49 Ave. Red Deerians are encouraged to ride their bikes into downtown and secure bicycle parking will be available for the event. The festival will be held from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

We encourage those who can to drop by and enjoy an exciting milestone community event.

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