The 2017 Tour of Alberta will shake things up for its fifth anniversary, dropping from five days to four and adopting a hybrid hub-and-spoke model based out of Edmonton.
In an announcement posted on the Tour of Alberta website, organisers for the September 1-4 event said the 2017 race will open with a stage that takes place entirely within Jasper National Park. The UCI 2.1 race will then head back to Edmonton for the final three days with stages that start and finish in the Edmonton Metro area. Detailed stage maps and course profiles will be released later this Spring.
“The [Alberta Peloton Association] has decided to alter the way we create our stages, in addition to hosting four stages total this year, to alleviate some pressure from host communities while the Alberta economy is still recovering,” said APA Chairman Peter Verhesen. Organisers also announced a multi-year title sponsorship deal with ATB Financial.
“The hub-and-spoke model is being implemented by RPM Events Group LLC in the USA with the Colorado Classic, and the strategy is proving to be a means to ensure long-term sustainability of professional cycling races in North America, where distances between major centres are much further away than stage races being held in Europe and other parts of the world,” Verhesen said. “We are confident that this decision to have a region of Alberta opt to host the entire event will help to ensure a lasting future for the ATB Tour of Alberta.”