Race organisers of the UCI 2.1 Tour of Alberta have announced the provisional team rosters for the upcoming race held from Sept 2 to 7 in Canada. The star-studded field will include Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing), Michael Matthews and Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge), Ryder Hesjedal and Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin) and Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin), just to name a few.
It will be a strong line-up in the history of the three-year event with five WorldTour teams sending top-notch riders that have proven success in Grand Tour overall classifications, stages and sprints. Although the race has been held in communities along the base of the Canadian Rockies, the 2015 edition is the first time that the race will include climbs through the mountains. This year there will be two mountain finishes in Jasper National Park (Miette Hot Springs) on stage 3 and to Marmot Basin ski area on stage 4.
This year, Mollema placed seventh overall at the Tour de France and his teammates Luxembourg time trial and road champion Bob Jungels, and US road champion Matthew Busche will line up in his support.
Likewise, Orica-GreenEdge’s Yates will look for a top overall placing after showing top form winning the Clasica San Sebastian, while his teammate Matthews, who had wins at Tour de Suisse, Pais Vasco, Paris-Nice and the Giro d’Italia will push for stage wins. The event kicks off with a team time trial and Orica-GreenEdge will no doubt aim for that win with help from their time trial specialists Svein Tuft, Luke Durbridge, Michael Hepburn and Sam Bewley.
Tour de France stage winner Simon Geschke will be on the start line with his team Giant-Alpecin and looking for stage victories. Organisers announced the participation of 2012 Giro d’Italia overall winner Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) last week, and the Canadian all-rounder will have help in the mountains from this year’s Giro d’Italia stage winner Davide Formolo and another potential overall winner Janier Acevedo.
Katusha will bring their GC rider Ilnur Zakarin, who won the Tour de Romandie and a stage at the Giro d’Italia this year.
Other promising talents include Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) who has had a strong season in the sprints, most recently winning a stage at the Arctic Race of Norway. He also won stages at the Tour of Qatar and the Bayern Rundfahrt earlier in the season.
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies will field their current Canadian road champion Guillaume Boivin, two-time Tour of Alberta Best Canadian jersey winner Ryan Anderson, and Michael Woods, a recent stage winner and podium finisher at Tour of Utah. And past Canadian road champions Ryan Roth of Silber Pro Cycling and Zach Bell of Team SmartStop will also be on the start line.
"This truly is an incredible field that is being assembled," said Tour of Alberta presented by ATB Financial CEO, Duane Vienneau. "The quality of the riders is a strong indication that the event has continued to build momentum in only three short years. Plus, we are so thrilled to include so many of the world’s top Canadians this year."
2015 Tour of Alberta Provisional Rosters:
Orica-Greenedge Cycling: Sam Bewley, Michael Matthews, Luke Durbridge, Jens Mouris, Michael Hepburn, Adam Yates, Svein Tuft and Christian Meier.
Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team: Janier Acevedo, Davide Formolo, Lasse-Norman Hansen, Ryder Hesjedal, Ted King, Kristoffer Skjerping and Tom-Jelte Slagter.
Team Giant-Alpecin: Nikias Arndt, Simon Geschke, Chad Haga, Fredrik Ludvigsson, Tobias Ludvigsson, Georg Preidler, Ramon Sinkeldam and Lars Van Der Haar.
Team Katusha: Sergei Chernetskii, Viacheslav Kuznetsov, Sergey Lagutin, Tiago Machado, Aleksandr Porsev, Gatis Smukulis, Simon Spilak and Ilnur Zakarin.
Trek Factory Racing: Matthew Busche, Marco Coledan, Laurent Didier, Bob Jungels, Bauke Mollema, Gregory Rast, Jesse Sergent and Kristof Vandewalle.
Bora-Argon18: Shane Archbold, Jan Bárta, Cesare Benedetti, Sam Bennett, Dominik Nerz, Christoph Pfingsten, Scott Thwaites, Paul Vos
Drapac Pro Cycling: William Clarke, Jordan Kerby, Wouter Wippert, Malcolm Rudolph, Travis Meyer, Bernard Sulzberger, Graeme Brown and Peter Koning.
Silber Pro Cycling Team: Alex Cataford, Matteo Dal-Cin, Nigel Ellsay, Michael Le Rossignol, Benjamin Perry, Alexander Ray, Ryan Roth and Derrick St-John.
H & R Block Pro Cycling: Adam De Vos, Florenz Knauer, Garrett Mcleod, Travis Samuel, Jacob Schwingboth, Bailey Mcknight, Felix Cote Bouvette and Jure Rupnik.
Team Smartstop: Zachary Bell, Shane Kline, Evan Huffman, Julian Kyer, Travis McCabe, Eric Marcotte, Travis Livermon and Kristofer Dahl.
Hincapie Racing Team: Toms Skujins, Andzs Flaksis, Jon Hornbeck, Mac Brennan, Miguel Byron, Ty Magner, Joe Lewis and Dion Smith.
Team Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies: Ryan Anderson, Michael Woods, William Routley, Thomas Zirbel, Scott Zwizanski, Guillaume Boivin, Jesse Anthony and Thomas Soladay.
Axeon Cycling Team: Greg Daniel, Daniel Eaton, Ruben Guerreiro, Justin Oien, James Oram, Logan Owen, Geoffrey Curran and Philip O’Donnell.
Lupus Racing Team: Thomas Vaubourzeix, Evan Murphy, Michael Olheiser, Matthieu Jeannes, Winston David, Kyle Murphy, Michael Stone and Chad Beyer.
Team Jelly Belly Presented By Maxxis: Lachlan Morton, Alexandr Braico, Taylor Shelden, Gavin Mannion, Angus Morton, Steve Fisher, Fred Rodriguez and Joshua Berry.