Hesjedal expected to headline Tour of Alberta

The organisers of the new Tour of Alberta have announced that Garmin-Sharp will compete in the race and intend to bring Canadian star Ryder Hesjedal to headline the team for the race, which takes place on September 3-8 and runs from Edmonton to Calgary. Hesjedal is currently in Italy, getting set to defend his title in the Giro d'Italia. He is the first Canadian Grand Tour winner in history.

The Alberta Peloton Association also unveiled the details of the full six-stage route, which will begin in Edmonton with a 7.3km prologue in the capital city.

Stage 1 will head out from Sherwood Park and take in 158km of the lake district before heading into Camrose for the finish. The second stage will be 175km long, heading from Devon through rolling farmland and into Red Deer for a finishing circuit with a short, sharp climb and fast downhill finish.

The third stage from Strathmore to Drumheller will be 169km in length, and finish in the shadow of the world's largest dinosaur fossil.

The 'queen stage' of the race takes place the next day, when racers tackle 200km between Black Diamond and Canmore on a route that includes a gradual 50km-long climb followed by another 50km descent to catch back on. The stage finishes on a climb to the Canmore Nordic Center where the real selection of the race will take place.

The final stage will take the peloton 132km from Okotoks to Calgary, and is expected to be a fast, sprint-friendly finale in the shadow of the Calgary Tower.

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