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Cannondale, Orica-GreenEdge, and Giant-Shimano round out a list of 13 additional teams announced for the 2014 Tour of Alberta, held September 2-7.
Those teams join previously announced UCI ProTeams Garmin-Sharp and Belkin. Ten additional teams were also announced, including Pro Continental team UnitedHealthcare, as well as a composite professional Canadian National Team.
“Like last year, we have put together a world-class field which includes several top-ranked, top-tiered teams along with the top teams on the North American continent,” said Tour of Alberta executive director Duane Vienneau. “We’re extremely pleased to have the Cannondale and Garmin-Sharp teams back, noting Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) were two of the big heroes from last year’s race. To have Orica-GreenEdge and Giant-Shimano, which have some of the world’s best sprint teams, will really spice up what is expected to be a fast race.”
The remaining teams include Canadian squads Garneau-Quebecor and Silber, ans well as American teams Jelly Belly-Maxxis, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, Hincapie Sportswear Development Team, SmartStop, 5-Hour Energy, and the Bissell Development Team, which is managed by Axel Merckx, a Canadian resident.
“I look forward to bringing the national team to Alberta again for 2014,” said Gord Fraser, the Canadian National Team director. ”Last year’s inaugural edition was a tremendous success, not only for the development of my Canadian riders, but also showcasing professional cycling to media and business leaders in western Canada and across the globe. Last year my rider Antoine Duchesne had a fantastic race that helped him secure a place on a world tour team and I’m hoping someone from this year’s team has a similar opportunity.”
Each team will have eight athletes. Preliminary rosters for the race will not be announced until late August.
Last year, the inaugural Tour of Alberta drew 120 cyclists, including Tour de France and Olympic riders as well as several former and current world and national champions. In total, athletes from 25 countries were represented within the world-class field. The world’s No. 2-ranked rider at the time, Sagan won three of the event’s six stages. Dennis won the overall race, and this year placed second overall at the Amgen Tour of California, one of the top races outside Europe.
The Tour of Alberta attracted more than 200,000 spectators last year and had an economic impact of more than $24 million to the province of Alberta. The event was telecast to more than 130 countries and worldwide audience of more than 50 million over six days.
ATB Financial has stepped up as the presenting sponsor for the event, with seven host communities supporting the event.
• September 2 / Tuesday / Prologue / Calgary, time trial
• September 3 / Wednesday / Stage 1 / Lethbridge, circuit race
• September 4 / Thursday / Stage 2 / Innisfail to Red Deer, road race
• September 5 / Friday / Stage 3 / Wetaskiwin to Edmonton, road race
• September 6 / Saturday / Stage 4 / Edmonton to Strathcona County, road race
• September 7 / Sunday / Stage 5 / Edmonton (Centre City), circuit race