Tour of Alberta racers are a week away from putting their mettle to the pedal on Red Deer streets.
The city will host the second stage of the inaugural six-day international professional cycling race on Thursday, Sept. 5.
Roads will be temporarily closed in and surrounding Red Deer’s downtown as a result.
The finish line and the festival will take over two blocks of Ross Street from 47th to 49th Avenue.
Barb McKee, Red Deer’s Recreation, Parks and Culture business supervisor, said organizers are encouraging residents to take public transportation and to use the free and secured bike corrals at Central Middle School (48th Avenue and 51st Street).
“This will be a road closure and impact to the downtown that is unprecedented,” said McKee. “For people who are working in the downtown and going to a business, it’s going to be a challenge that day.”
Racers are expected to cross the finish line on Ross Street from 47th Avenue to 48th Avenue around 3:30 p.m. This area will close at noon on Wednesday and reopen at midnight on Thursday, Sept. 5. The intersections at 47th and 48th Avenues will remain open during this time.
Parking will be limited throughout the day.
Getting underway at 11 a.m., the tour festival will feature entertainment, food trucks, beer gardens, merchandise vendors and interactive activities for the whole family. There will be two stages set up in the festival block featuring local acts and a still-to-be disclosed headliner. A large television screen will broadcast the race throughout the day.
Depending on a number of factors, including weather and speed, the racers are expected to cross the finish line sometime between 3:15 and 3:30 p.m.
Festival-goers will have plenty of opportunities to mingle and get autographs from their favourite racers. Team buses will be lined up downtown on 51st Street and 52nd Street (between 48th and 49th Avenues).
City bylaw officers and the RCMP will be monitoring the closures.
About 200 local volunteers will help out but a few are still needed. Information is available at www.tourofalberta.ca.
The Tour of Alberta kicks off on Tuesday with a prologue in Edmonton. Cyclists will race through 50 communities in the province before finishing on Sunday, Sept. 8, in Calgary.
The Tour of Alberta is one of only four international cycling tours in North America.
Tour of Alberta road closures
Ross Street, from 47th Avenue to 49th Avenue, will be closed starting at 1 p.m.
• The intersection of 48th Avenue and 50th Street will be closed starting at 10:30 a.m.
• At 11 a.m., 51st Street and 52nd Street will be closed between 48th and 49th Avenue.
• At 2 p.m., the entire downtown race circuit will be closed to all traffic and parked cars.
• Roads along the downtown circuit will reopen at 4 p.m., followed by 51st and 52nd Streets at 5 p.m. All roads will be reopened no later than midnight.