An Event that really goes the Distance.
The inaugural Tour of Alberta marked Canada’s first major international professional stage race, and the Province’s first foray into the growing global sport of cycling. The Tour of Alberta took place September 3 – 8, 2013 throughout the province. Starting in Edmonton and finishing in Calgary, the event had 120 elite athletes ride over 900 kilometers, through 22 communities, over six days. It was broadcast in 162 countries and 168 million households. It is easily one of Canada’s most unique and largest spanning sporting events.
For a first year event, it was incredibly well organized. I’d like to come back next year.2011 Tour de France winner, Cadel Evans
What began as a Dream.
The Tour of Alberta was the dream of former yellow jersey wearer Alex Steida. He was the first North American cyclist to lead the Tour de France in 1986, if only for a day. Steida, who lives in Edmonton, felt that the local geography made the province an ideal place for a multi-stage race and he spent nearly a decade getting the idea funded.
We were always enthusiastic about the event. We sat down with Alex on numerous occasions, and even sent a delegation from Edmonton, to attend the Tour of California to gain a better understanding of a race of this magnitude. However the question always came back to funding. A question that couldn’t be answered during those early attempts to secure an inaugural Tour of Alberta.
In May of 2012 the idea finally began to take shape. Lindsay Harrison, and Candice Stasynec, from the Edmonton Events team, met with Alex once again. Things went a little different this time around, the Rural Alberta Development Fund (RADF) had decided to back the event. It was coming to the Province, and Edmonton, and we would need to be ready with support in the way we always do for major events.
Getting down to Business.
We were excited. The event was the first of it’s kind in Canada, it was going to help stimulate economic activity in our communities, and would showcase rural Alberta to the world. Somewhere that’s best known for hockey, bull riding, and cow tipping was now hosting an event where men shave their legs and weigh less than a 100kg. It really showed just how far the sport has come.
But planning, hosting, and organizing an event that takes place across a province is no small undertaking. Our team set out with all hands on deck helping to pull off a province wide event in a relatively short period of time. Backed by the city, many of our major roadways were transformed into racetracks, and we saw tens of thousands of people flood the streets in support.
First Time Success.
This world-class event featured more than 15 of the world’s top teams, many of which also competed in the Tour de France and Tour of Italy. The field included World and National Champions from various countries as well as top-ranked cyclists on the world circuit.
And with athletes from more than 20 countries, the event became one of Alberta’s most international events since the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary and the 2001 IAAF Track and Field Championships in Edmonton. And the real kicker? It was free to the public.
We expect the event to be back again, and trust us it’s not something you want to miss.
The 2013 Tour of Alberta was a success.Lindsay Harrison, Business Development, Edmonton Events
120 Elite Athletes covered over 900 kilometers, while passing through major Albertan cities and countryside communities.
The event was broadcast in 162 countries to over 168 million households.
The field included many of the world's top-ranked cyclists including past Tour de France winners.