Tour of Alberta Cycling Race

The Tour of Alberta was first organized in 2013 and had a total of 5 editions. It was organized by the Alberta Peloton Association under director Duane Vienneau. During the last five years, more than 500 racers from different countries took part in the cycling race. Some 29 communities in Alberta hosted the race and millions of viewers around the world watched the race.

History of the Tour

Professional racer Alexander Nicholas Ernst “Alex” Stieda was the first to come up with the idea of a multi-stage race. The Rural Alberta Development Fund provided funding to organize the tour to help promote Alberta at the international level.

Classifications and Winners

The classifications are 6 in total – blue, red, white, polka dot, green, and yellow jersey. The general classification or yellow jersey tracks overall times for all stages of the cycling race. The racer with the fastest times for all stages is the winner or overall leader. Racers who won the race throughout the years include names such as Evan Huffman, Robin Carpenter, Bauke Mollema, Daryl Impey, and Rohan Dennis. Teams that got the yellow jersey include Rally Cycling, BMC Racing Team. Racers from all over the world participated in the tour, including countries such as the U.S., the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Great Britain, Slovakia, Lithuania, and of course, Canada.

The secondary category is called the sprint or point classification, with points awarded for sprints and high finishes. Winners in this category have been racers such as Wouter Wippert, Colin Joyce, Michael Matthews, Ramūnas Navardauskas, and Peter Sagan. Winners get the green jersey. The mountains classification or King of the Mountain is yet another title which is reserved for the best climber. He gets the polka dot jersey. Racers such as Alec Cowan, Danilo Celano, and Ben Perry got the polka dot jersey. The young rider classification is a title which is given to racers below 25 for best overall times. Winners in this category have been Jack Burke, Colin Joyce, Adam Yates, Tom Dumoulin, and Rohan Dennis. Winning teams that got the white jersey include the Silber Pro Cycling Team, BMC Racing Team. Finally, the blue jersey is reserved for the most aggressive rider in the race, i.e. this is the so called combativity award.

The End of the Cycling Race: Shortage of Funding

The 2018 edition of the Tour of Alberta cycling race was cancelled by the Alberta Peloton Association due to scarcity of financial resources to fund an event which requires substantial financing. A single day of the race costed $1 million. Funding mainly came from corporations, the provincial authorities, and host communities. In fact, the major funders of the event were the provincial government and ATB Financial. The government of Alberta cut funding for the event while corporate players opted out of being the sole funders of the race. Funding from private-sector players and communities was also in short supply. And while it is sad that the cycling race had its last edition, the good news is that many of the racers who competed in the Tour of Alberta became top cyclists. Prominent racers who competed in the tour include names such as Robin Carpenter, Nigel Elsay, Tom Jelte-Slagter, Bauke Mollema, Tom Dumoulin, and Peter Sagan.

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