The race organisers of the Tour of Alberta have announced the 12 teams which compete at the 2017 edition of the stage race, headlined by Cannondale-Drapac. The American team is the sole WorldTour squad in 2017 with UnitedHealthcare, the only Pro-Continental representative.
Rohan Dennis won the overall for Cannondale-Drapac in 2013, then known as Garmin-Sharp, when six WorldTour squads were in attendance. 2017 is the first year the race will have just one representative from the WorldTour. Despite the lack of top teams, our of Alberta's President Scott Fisher believes there will tight and exciting racing on offer over the four days in early-September.
"With one of the top teams from this year's Tour de France in Cannondale-Drapac, our defending champion returning, and Canada's top teams, it is shaping up to be a great field," said Fisher. "The ATB Tour of Alberta has always been a preview to rising stars of the sport."
Cannondale-Drapac are yet to announce which riders it will send to the race.
Canada's three Continental teams, Silber Pro Cycling, H&R Block Pro Cycling Team, and Garneau-Quebecor, have all been invited to the race.
"Last year's Tour of Alberta was a milestone in my career and I have fond memories up there," said Carpenter. "The people, the scenery are pretty magnificent, so, I'm looking to come back to Alberta and defend my title. It's always a bit nerve-racking when you come back to defend a title. But, I'm going for the neon gold."
American Continental team Aevolo will make debut at UCI 2.1 level with team manager Michael Creed extending his thanks to the organisers for the race invite
"I'm grateful to Medalist Sports for taking the time to learn about our team and understand what our vision is for our riders," Creed said. "This will be the most challenging race our riders will have ever been a part of. I'm really optimistic about how our riders will perform and excited to see them participating at the level of competition that Medalist Sports regularly operates."
While Aevolo makes its debut, 22-year-old Jack Burke rode the race with H&R Block last year and is excited to return again with his new squad.
"I'm thrilled the team got into Alberta," said Burke. "Getting my first opportunity to line up with guys I watched win jerseys at the Tour de France was surreal. Now having experienced it, I'm really looking forward to using this race as an opportunity for the team to get some more results."
Joining the American and Canadian teams on the start list is Team Medellin-Inder from Colombia while Albania's Amore & Vita-Selle SMP is the sole European team for 2017.
The Tour of Alberta starts September 1 in Jasper National Park, before three stages in Edmonton with the race concluding September 4.
2017 Tour of Alberta teams:
Silber Pro Cycling
H&R Block Pro Cycling Team
Amore & Vita – Selle SMP p/b Fondriest
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
Team Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis
Aevolo Cycling Team
Holowesko/Citadel Racing presented by Hincapie Sportswear
Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling