Tour of Alberta To Be Accompanied by Velothon Edmonton This Year
Edmontonians are eagerly awaiting the fun and festivities that accompany one of Alberta's most well-loved events, the Tour of Alberta. This spring, cyclists, spectators, and other joy-seekers were thrilled to discover that there is also going to be a mass participation race, known as Velothon Edmonton.
The Tour of Alberta itself starts in Lethbridge and ends in Edmonton, and is accompanied by free festivals in various towns and cities. In 2015, the tour was enjoyed by over 47 million viewers. Large crowds of enthusiastic fans love to cheer on their favourite expert cyclists; the 2016 race will host 120 top notch riders, a sum composed of 15 teams of 8 professional racers.
Velothon Edmonton is a thrilling development in the world of racing. The Edmonton Journal reported that Velothon Majors events are usually held exclusively in Europe and Scandinavia, and that thousands of amateur cyclists are expected to join in. The Velothon Majors are presented by the International Cycling Union. Edmonton mayor Don Iveson expressed that " the UCI Velothon Majors will add to what promises to be an exhilarating sports weekend in Edmonton,” and that " hosting world-calibre sporting events such as this injects tourism dollars into our local economy, increases the vibrancy of our city, and adds to our reputation as a premier sports tourism destination". Teams and individual riders are both welcome. Enthusiastic riders are getting ready for the Velothon. This month, the Metro in Edmonton interviewed Alex Stieda, a professional racer; he had some useful tips on training and racing. It's going to be an enjoyable race, on a course designed for professionals. Organizers state that the course will "descend through the historic and picturesque grounds of the Alberta Legislature", and that it "passes through Edmonton’s stunning river valley, races the daunting curves of Groat Road, and climbs past the scenic Hawrelak Park & Victoria park, and returns through the streets of downtown Edmonton to Churchill Square". They promise a "festival atmosphere, with thousands of spectators to watch Velothon Edmonton and the Tour of Alberta" and a "feel-like-a-pro experience". The roads will be closed; an opportunity to ride deserted streets, especially downtown, does not often present itself. There will be feed stations and mechanical stations. The race will occur on the 5th, right before the conclusion of the Tour of Alberta. One team to keep an eye on is the Transcend Coffee team!
Teams of eight will be entered into a prize draw! Free entries, jerseys, VIP hospitality passes to the Tour of Alberta. Winners will have the best possible vantage point to see the race and they'll also be served free food and beverages. One can join a team or ride as an individual. There is a 6km course option for those who aren't ready for the 100 km race, as well as a 5 km race in downtown Edmonton, sponsored by ATB Financial; participants will be supporting CASA, Child, Adolescent, and Family mental health. One can sponsor a team, or make a donation.
Potential riders and spectators may be interested in involving their friends and families in the festivities and races. For those who are thinking of introducing the joy of cycling to their families and young children, the festival atmosphere will be a rewarding and memorable experience. On September 4, the festival will visit Hawrelak Park, and on September 5 the festival will be at Churchill Square. There will be on-stage performances, including one by the Edmonton Police pipe and drum band. There's a chance to get autographs from your favourite riders. There are also plenty of treats. There will be a beer garden, food trucks, and an outdoor pizza oven. Edmontonians are getting into the spirit of the tour and getting stoked for the Velothon! A local bakery, Milk and Cookies, is joining in the fun by designing an official cookie for the tour. United Cycle, an Old Strathcona business that has helped out with many races, is providing merchandise for those who'd like to remember the Velothon.
Visit tourofalberta.ca/velothonedmonton to find out more; you will also find links if you'd like to register to participate in one of these events. If you'd like to push yourself, have fun, enjoy community spirit, raise money for a cause you believe in, or all of the above, then Velothon Edmonton might be for you.