May 29, 2014 (Grande Prairie, AB) – The Tour of Alberta has announced the 2014 Team Cycling Challenge which will kick off in Grande Prairie, Alberta on Friday, September 5 and finish in Edmonton on Saturday, September 6, 2014.
“The Tour of Alberta is quickly becoming a tremendous way for communities to be recognized and promoted not only across the province but nationally and internationally as well! This creates incredible opportunities for businesses and organizations to potentially make global connections which can only help with economic growth and development in our region,” says Shawna Miller, Chair of the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce.
The Team Cycling Challenge will depart Grande Prairie at 5:00 p.m. on September 5, where 30 teams consisting of 10 amateur cyclists each will battle it out to the finish line over 463 kilometers of Alberta roadway. A maximum of four and a minimum of one cyclist must be riding at all times. TransRockies Events, the event management company coordinating the logistics, anticipates cyclists rolling into the finish line anywhere between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on September 6 depending on their skill level.
“The ride will be demanding, but it will be a rewarding experience, “explains Tour of Alberta Executive Director, Duane Vienneau. “We anticipate the route taking up to 24 hours to complete. It’s the closest experience the public will get to actually riding like one of the pros.”
Bragging rights are not all that are up for grabs. Teams will be raising funds for the Alberta Cancer Foundation Frank & Carla Sojonky Chair in Prostate Cancer Research led by Dr. John Lewis. In descending order according to the amount teams raise, the amateur teams will have the ability to choose which pro-team to associate with. Meet-and-greets and other VIP experiences with the pro-teams are at stake. Participants will also receive a special commemorative jersey and will be invited to a VIP evening meal upon their return.
Honorable Wayne Drysdale, MLA Grande Prairie Wapiti, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure, says, “I’m thrilled that the 2014 Tour of Alberta Cycling Challenge will kick off right here in Grande Prairie. This prestigious event offers an excellent opportunity to showcase not only our region, but all of Northern Alberta. I’m also pleased to know that riders will be raising funds for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Albertans have a reputation for being some of the most generous people around and I’m confident we’ll once again rise to the challenge of supporting those in need. Best of luck to all the riders!”
The fee to participate is $4,000 plus GST per team. Registration opens on May 29, 2014. More information on the Team Cycling Challenge can be found here.
First Host Community for the 2015 Tour of Alberta Announced
The 2014 Cycling Challenge will mark Northern Alberta’s initial involvement with the Tour of Alberta, though certainly not its last. Grande Prairie has also been declared as a host community for the 2015 Tour of Alberta.
Everett McDonald, MLA Grande Prairie Smoky Constituency says, “After being involved with the Tour of Alberta last year, I am excited that our city and region will kick off the 2014 Cycling Challenge. This is a tremendous opportunity to build awareness and momentum for the 2015 Tour of Alberta when Grande Prairie will participate as a host community. It is also a great opportunity for local cyclists to participate in what is sure to be a challenging yet exciting race to the finish line. Hats off to the Tour of Alberta organizers and the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce for their collaboration on this exciting announcement.”
The City and County of Grande Prairie, Alberta are both enthusiastic about the potential that the Tour of Alberta will bring to these regions in 2015.
City of Grande Prairie Mayor, Bill Given, says, “Attracting events such as this is exactly what City Council had in mind when we developed the 2012 Sport Tourism Strategy and established the Sport Council. Increasing the capacity of our community for sport tourism is a priority of this and previous Councils. We are pleased to see the Tour of Alberta express interest in Grande Prairie.”
“The County of Grande Prairie is thrilled to be part of this opportunity to showcase our county, our region to a global audience,” says County Reeve Leanne Beaupre. “The Tour of Alberta is a family event that supports local economic development, recreation and wellness, tourism, community spirit and volunteerism – all values held by the County.”
“We are so thrilled to engage Grande Prairie in the 2014 Cycling Challenge, and we can’t wait to showcase Northern Alberta to the world next year when Grande Prairie participates as a 2015 host community,” says Vienneau. “The fact that the route changes from year to year and showcases so many different regions of the province to the entire world is what makes this race unique.”
Additional details on Grande Prairie’s future involvement and the remaining 2015 host communities will be released at a later date.