On September 5, 2013 residents of Devon, Calmar, Leduc, Millet, Wetaskiwin, Ponoka and Red Deer will witness a world class event, the Tour of Alberta This is a six-stage bike race, starting in Edmonton on Tuesday, September 3 and ending in Calgary on Sunday, September 8th. Up to 16 professional, international cycling teams, comprised of eight riders per team will be departing for a total of 128 riders will participate in the 850 kilometres (530 miles) Tour of Alberta race. The event is expected to draw some of the same teams that compete in the Tour de France. The Tour of Alberta will be the highest level pro cycling stage race in Canada, and one of the highest level events in North America.
On Thursday September 5th, Stage 2 of the race, Country Roads, will depart from downtown Devon (Athabasca Ave between Erie & Huron St). The Tour has identified Wetaskiwin as a portion of the course route that will enter Wetaskiwin at approximately 12:00 noon by turning east off Highway 2A onto Highway 13. The race will follow a route south on 50th Street until they take a jog on 40A Street to enter 613 or 40th Avenue which they will follow to Highway 2A. Included in this route is a sprint section to be placed along 50th street between 50 –51st Avenue. The entire event will be in and out of Wetaskiwin in 20 and 40 minutes (approximately 12:30 p.m.) depending on race conditions. Stage 2 of the race will be completed in downtown Red Deer (50th St between 47th and 48th Ave)
Parking in Wetaskiwin will be banned in the affected areas beginning in the morning of the event. Access to businesses in the area will also be impacted for up to an hour prior to and during the event.
The Tour of Alberta comes fully equipped with the following support vehicles consisting of 30 team cars, 10 RCMP Cruisers, 10 RCMP Motorcycles, 20 Race Motor Cycles, Quick response vehicles, 2 ambulances, a few functional vehicles., 4 photo motorcycles –Still photographers, 3 Video/TV Motorcycles, two aircraft( one radio repeater –one photo aircraft).
The six day race will be an unprecedented event for the rural Alberta, villages, towns and small cities it passes through as few, if any, have hosted a major international sporting event in their community. The event will be broadcast live daily in Canada on Sportsnet, and broadcast internationally on various networks, as it is expected that the event will host riders from over 20 countries around the world.
“The Tour of Alberta will be more than a celebration of sport. It will showcase our province as we share our spirit and stories through festivals along the route,” said Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation Minister Dr. Richard Starke. “The Government of Alberta’s investments in the festivals program will allow Albertans and visitors to enjoy our western hospitality, talent, and home-grown products, while showing the world that we welcome everyone to experience Alberta first-hand.”
In Canada, Sportsnet will broadcast two hours of the race live each day, and feature a daily highlights program and repeat programming of the race. Internationally, details are being finalized to have the Tour broadcast in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America.
Tour of Alberta Chair Brian Jolly. “With daily themes ranging from the Wild West in Edmonton to Global Fare in Calgary, race spectators and up to 35 million television viewers in Canada and 100 million households around the world will be treated to all the best Alberta has to offer.”
Cycling fans and festival goers will also have the opportunity to meet the newest member of the Tour of Alberta team, Swifty the Fox. Until recently, the swift fox was a locally extinct species in its home province of Alberta, but is now starting to return to the prairies. One of them, Swifty, will soon be a familiar face to cycling fans across the province and around the world.
Details on the food themes, culinary experiences and entertainment for each day and for individual communities will be announced in the weeks leading up to the event, and available on-line at www.tourofalberta.ca
Official Stage maps and more information on the Tour of Alberta can be found at www.tourofalberta.ca. Follow the Tour of Alberta on Twitter @TourofAlberta or on Facebook at TourofAlberta.