April 23, 2014 (Edmonton, AB) – The Tour of Alberta, Canada’s largest professional cycling stage race was successfully launched last year and this season is pleased to announce a new presenting sponsor, two top-level world class teams, host communities, and the 2014 overall course. The 2014 Tour of Alberta runs from September 2-7 – see map below.
ATB Financial is New Presenting Partner
For more than 75 years, ATB Financial has been committed to community building; the partnership with the Tour of Alberta continues this tradition and offers new and exciting ways for ATB Financial to support communities across the province of Alberta. Furthermore, ATB Financial’s partnership with the Tour of Alberta will showcase the beauty of the province to the world. This partnership aligns both organizations’ focus on health and wellness, world-class athletics, family participation and economic success of Alberta and its communities.
ATB Financial was an Official Partner for the inaugural Tour of Alberta in 2013 and brought signature programs like “ATB Financial Autograph Alley” and “ATB Financial Autograph Cards” to the event. The Tour of Alberta is pleased to welcome ATB Financial back to the race in a more prominent capacity in 2014.
“Being involved with the inaugural Tour of Alberta was so special, we decided to up our game this year,” says Dave Mowat, ATB’s President and CEO. “We hope that seeing the world’s best cyclists compete up close will inspire more and more Albertans to hop on their own bikes and ride. Cycling is truly one of the best ways to experience all the wonders Alberta has to offer.”
Duane Vienneau, the Executive Director of the Tour of Alberta, said, “ATB Financial’s commitment to this year’s Tour of Alberta is critical to the ultimate success of the event. ATB Financial is a corporate and community leader in the province of Alberta. We look forward to building a long partnership for the event.”
ATB Financial’s commitment to the Tour of Alberta will promote long term sustainability of this race across the province.
International Powerhouses Team Garmin-Sharp and Belkin Pro Cycling to Race
The Tour of Alberta, which features many of the world’s best cyclists, will make stops in Calgary, Lethbridge, Innisfail, Red Deer, Wetaskiwin, Strathcona County, and Edmonton over six days from , 2014.
Team Garmin-Sharp, the American-based team of 2013 Tour of Alberta champion Rohan Dennis and top Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, and The Netherland’s top team, Belkin Pro Cycling, today were announced as the first two teams to commit to participate in this year’s race, scheduled for September 2 to 7, 2014. Both teams have been consistently ranked in the world’s top 10 the past five years.
Team Garmin-Sharp, the American-based team of 2013 Tour of Alberta champion Rohan Dennis and top Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, and The Netherland’s top team, Belkin Pro Cycling, today were announced as the ?rst two teams to commit to participate in this year’s race, scheduled for September 2 to 7, 2014. Both teams have been consistently ranked in the world’s top 10 the past ?ve years.
Team Garmin-Sharp’s Ryder Hesjedal of Victoria, British Columbia won the 2012 Giro d’Italia. Like Belkin Pro Cycling, Team Garmin-Sharp is loaded with international talent, including Tyler Farrar, an American who was won a stage in all three Grand Tours: France, Italy and Spain. The talented 22-year-old, Dennis Rohan, was a surprise winner of last year’s race.
Belkin is the team of Robert Gesink, one of the world’s top stage racers. He raced and finished 5th overall in last year’s Tour of Alberta. The team also features Lauren Ten Dam, a top 10 Tour de France ?nisher.
“I loved the Tour of Alberta last year. It had plenty of challenges throughout the whole race and I think the fact it was the inaugural Tour of Alberta made it all the more special to me,” said Dennis. “The race itself was organized perfectly. I am looking forward to being around the people of Alberta. I honestly could not believe how friendly everyone was. It’s an important race for me and the team this year.”
120 of the world’s best cyclists will compete in the Tour of Alberta. The race will feature 15 teams of eight cyclists each. Last season, athletes from 25 countries were on rosters for the race.
“To attract two of the world’s top teams out of the gate is a great sign of acceptance at the world level for this race,” said Tour of Alberta Chairman Brian Jolly, a former Olympian and elite level professional.
The host communities for the 2014 Tour of Alberta, scheduled for September 2-7, were announced by Executive Director, Duane Vienneau; Calgary, Lethbridge, Innisfail, Red Deer, Wetaskiwin, Strathcona County, and Edmonton will participate as either a host start or finish community for this year’s Tour of Alberta.
“The commitment by our host communities is fundamental,” said Duane Vienneau, the Tour of Alberta’s Executive Director. “They are true partners in every sense of the word. Through their commitment, we will be able to stage a second and successful race across the Province of Alberta.”
The opening weekend will be hosted by the city of Calgary, the host of the 1988 Winter Olympics. The opening ceremonies and other special events will kick off this year’s race with the ?rst race day commencing on Tuesday, September 2. The opening stage will be a short time trial called a prologue, an individual race against the clock. The top ?nisher and rider with the lowest time will be the race’s leader.
Lethbridge will play host to Stage 1 of the race on Wednesday, September 3. The world-class field will start and finish in Lethbridge, a first-time host city for the event, and compete on a circuit with both hills and flat plains along the route.
Stage 2 on Thursday, September 4, will start in Innisfail and ?nish in Red Deer. Red Deer played host to a stage ?nish in 2013. This year will mark Innisfail’s first host community experience as a part of the Tour.
The next three stages will be contested in and around Edmonton.
“Edmonton is once again proud to host the Tour of Alberta cycling race and we’re excited to host the finest professional cyclists in the country,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “The 2014 Tour of Alberta is also another great opportunity to showcase our city to the world.”
Stage 3 starts in ?rst-time host Wetaskiwin and routes into Edmonton. Stage 4 will start in Edmonton and ?nish at Strathcona County, a start host city in 2013. The ?nale, in a reverse of last year, will start and ?nish in Edmonton’s downtown core with a circuit race.
“The Tour of Alberta is an exhilarating event for Albertans that also has a huge economic impact on communities across the province. As an internationally broadcast event, it’s a great opportunity to highlight the Edmonton experience, our hidden gems, down-to-earth culture, and our volunteer spirit,” said Brad Ferguson, President and CEO of Edmonton Economic Development.
Exact routes by stage will be released this summer.
Prologue – Sept. 2 – Calgary (Time Trial)
Stage 1 - Sept. 3 – Lethbridge (Circuit Race)
Stage 2 - Sept. 4 – Innisfail to Red Deer (Road Race)
Stage 3 - Sept. 5 – Wetaskiwin to Edmonton (Road Race)
Stage 4 - Sept. 6 – Edmonton to Strathcona County (Road Race)
Stage 5 - Sept. 7 – Edmonton (Circuit Race)
Type of Teams:
Number of teams/Athletes per team:
15 (8 cyclists per team)
Rohan Dennis, Team Garmin-Sharp, Australia
Canadian Cycling Association
Union Cycliste International (UCI)
Additional teams will be announced this summer.