Tour of Alberta announces 2016 route details - News Shorts

Tour of Alberta announces route details for 2016 race

The Tour of Alberta on Tuesday released the route details for the 2016 race, which begins September 1 in Lethbridge and finishes September 5 in Edmonton. The sprinters will have multiple opportunities over five stages in the southern part of the Canadian province, as will the breakaway specialists in two hilly circuit races. The key to the overall victory could come on the penultimate day with an individual time trial in Edmonton.

The race starts with a circuit race in Lehtbridge, where part of the 11.7km circuit was used in the 2014 race. The tricky loop could provide the perfect launching pad of opportunistic riders who want to establish an early overall advantage. The peloton will race nine laps for 106km.

Stage 2, a 181km route from Kananaskis to Olds, includes the race's biggest climb before rolling, predominantly flat terrain leads to two urban finishing circuits that will likely favor the sprinters. Stage 3 will throw 7km of gravel roads at the peloton as they traverse the 181.2km route from Rocky Mountain House to Drayton Valley. Another sprint finish is expected which is bound to provide a thrilling sight for spectators.

The stage 4 Edmonton time trial could be the most pivotal day for the overall race. The 12.1km race against the clock includes a steep climb and a descent of the River Valley that will be featured in the next day's circuit race.

The 2016 Tour of Alberta will conclude September 5 in Edmonton with the now-traditional 121km, 11-lap circuit race through the city's downtown core.

Scarponi extends with Astana

Michele Scarponi will stay with Astana for another year. The team announced the contract extension with the 36-year-old on the Tour de France rest day.

"Scarponi is a very strong and trusty domestic. He did an incredible job on last Giro d'Italia," said team manager Alexander Vinokourov. "We hope that next season he will continue to work for the team leaders as well as he did before."

"2017 will be my fifteenth season among the professionals and so I think I can continue to give my experience to the young talents of the team and, why not, point to some personal success," Scarponi said.

Roosen, Wagner extend with LottoNL-Jumbo

Young Dutch sprinter Timo Roosen and teammate Robert Wagner announced they will stay with LottoNL-Jumbo for two more years. The 23-year-old has been with the Dutch team since 2015.

"I am very content with the assurance and confidence of the team," Roosen said. "I want to develop myself further as a Classics rider who can ride well on the cobblestones."

He is currently riding his first Tour de France, serving as a lead-out man for sprinter Dylan Groenewegen. Wagner is also racing the Tour de France for LottoNl-Jumbo.

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Cycling Academy Team upgrades to Professional Continental status in 2017

Israel's first professional road racing team Cycling Academy announced Tuesday on Facebook that they have upgraded from a Continental to a Pro Continental licence for the 2017 season.

The Cycling Academy has spent two seasons at the Continental level with success. Next year, they aim to receive invitations to race at the Tour of California and in some of the Spring Classics.

Their long-term goal, however, is to compete in one of the three Grand Tours as early as 2018.

According to the team statement, they are currently negotiating with several key riders and technical partners.

"The team has had good success on the Continental circuit. It's time for us to step up to the higher league," said the Academy's new Board of Directors member Sylvan Adams.

This year, the team took two stage wins at the Tour de Beauce, two stages and the overall title at the Tour of Hungary and seven national championship titles.

"I believe that the team's recent success and the ongoing changes in the pro cycling world, will turn out to be favorable for us," said Team Cycling Academy founder and owner Ron Baron.

"Our multi-national character is quite distinct from most other pro cycling teams around the world. Just like Israel, the team is a melting pot. As far as I know, we are also the only Non-Profit organization in the world of professional cycling."

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