The province of Alberta will host its first pro cycling event next September — The Tour of Alberta: Alberta’s Pro Cycling Festival.
The event is the newest pro cycling event in North America and will be among the highest ranked, earning a 2.1 from the Union Cycliste Internationale.
Rolling out from Sept. 3-8, 2013, the bike race will start in Edmonton and visit towns that are rarely if ever on the professional sports itinerary, except perhaps for hockey.
The stage race is an addition to similar events in North America. The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah (Aug. 6 to 11, 2013) is also ranked at 2.1, while the Amgen Tour of California (May 12-19, 2013) and the USA Pro Challenge (Aug. 19-25, 2013) are ranked at the higher level 2.HC.
According to a press release, the race is being financed by $3.5 million in seed funding by Alberta’s Rural Development Fund. Additional funding is being sought through partnerships and sponsorships by industry and corporate sponsors.
The organizers project 300,000 racing fans will see the cycling event live, with worldwide viewership of 30 million people. Estimated economic impact of the race is $30 million to $35 million a year, according to a press release.
The Alberta Peloton Association (APA), chaired by Brian Jolly, is the not-for-profit association organizing the Tour of Alberta.
The operating partner is Medalist Sports of Atlanta, which also runs the Tour of California, Tour of Utah and Pro Cycling Challenge. Its resume also includes failed races Tour of Georgia and Tour of Missouri.
Organizers are still fine-tuning the race route. The stage race route and host cities will be announced early next year.