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Tour of Alberta funded through 2016

This week's race winner got to take home the Tour of Alberta cup.

This week's race winner got to take home the Tour of Alberta cup. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)

Organizers of the Tour of Alberta have secured funding for three more years, allowing the race to run through 2016. Executive director Duane Vienneau is expected to announce the financial backers.

The additional financial commitment will help organizers plan future editions of the race and begin the process of approving cities that will host the starts and finishes of each stage.

"Getting the three-year commitment is huge," Vienneau told the Calgary Sun. "This year has been all hurry up and wait. It won’t be like that next year and the year after. All the budgeting and financial commitments can be arranged this year. We can even plan our next year’s routes this year."

Cities interested in hosting a stage include Jasper, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Canmore, Banff, Lethbridge and Lake Louise, locations in and around the Canadian Rockies. Canmore was supposed to host the finish of Stage 4 last year but damage to the route caused by flooding forced race organizers to redirect the course.

Now in its second year, the UCI 2.1 Tour of Alberta is scheduled to start on September 2 with a prologue in Calgary and finish on September 7 in Edmonton, running about 850 km from south to north, in the opposite direction to last year’s inaugural race.

Calgary hosted the final circuits of the race last year where Cannondale's Peter Sagan won the stage and Garmin-Sharp's Rohan Dennis secured the overall title.

Kirsten Frattini

Kirsten Frattini has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level all the way to the World Cup. She is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. Kirsten has worked in both print and digital publishing. She started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006, and was responsible for reporting from the US and Canadian racing scene. Now as a Production Editor, she produces international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits global news and writes features.