Riders who take part in both the USA Pro Challenge and the Canadian WorldTour races, such as the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal, will have the six-day Tour of Alberta to fill the gap next year between the events.
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Start in Edmonton with prologue, finish in Calgary
The Tour of Alberta has announced the host cities for the inaugural event, set to start in Edmonton on September 3 with a prologue and finishing in Calgary on September 8, 2013.
The exact route has yet to be finalized, but is expected to be approximately 850km over six stages.
After the prologue in Alberta's capital, stage 1 will kick off from the Sherwood Park area of Strathcona County, east of Edmonton and finish in Camrose, a sprint-friendly, flat area rich in farmland and lakes.
The second point-to-point stage will start in Devon, to Edmonton's southwest, and travel due south to Red Deer through rolling cattle land.
For stage 3, the peloton will transfer to Strathmore, just east of Calgary, and travel through the Canadian Badlands to the finish in Drumheller, known as the Dinosaur Capital of the World for its rich fossil history.
The penultimate stage takes a peek into the Canadian Rockies, heading from Black Diamond at the base of the foothills to Canmore at 1480m.
Another transfer brings the riders to Okotoks, due south of Calgary, for the final stage ending in the province's largest city.
About 15 teams are expected to take part in the Tour of Alberta, which bridges the gap between the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado and the WorldTour events in Montreal and Quebec.
2013 Tour of Alberta stages:
Prologue: Edmonton, Tuesday, September 3
Stage 1: Strathcona County - Camrose, Wednesday, September 4
Stage 2: Devon– Red Deer, Thursday, September 5
Stage 3: Strathmore– Drumheller, Friday, September 6
Stage 4: Black Diamond– Canmore, Saturday, September 7
Stage 5: Okotoks - Calgary, Sunday, September 8
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