Cyclists hopeful Tour of Alberta will return to city down the road

Professional cycling enthusiasts are disappointed but not surprised that the City of Red Deer took a pass on hosting the 2016 Tour of Alberta.

Professional cycling enthusiasts are disappointed but not surprised that the City of Red Deer took a pass on hosting the 2016 Tour of Alberta.

George Berry, chairman of the 2013 and 2014 local organizing committee, said there is a lot to look forward to next year in Red Deer.

He said the energy has shifted to excitement for next year’s Memorial Cup and the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

“I am certainly hoping it will come back,” said Berry. “The name of the race is Tour of Alberta. They will be moving it around. If Red Deer isn’t there in 2016, I don’t think that will disqualify us from looking at 2017 or subsequent years as the race grows.”

Red Deer hosted the second finishing stage in 2014 and in the race’s inaugural year in 2013.

Last year, the city pitched in $100,000 in cash and $54,000 in kind for services. In 2013, the city allocated $77,000.

On Monday, city administration said the price tag this year for all associated costs would be about $350,000, of which most would come out of the city’s coffers.

The 2014 tour was expected to bring in an estimated $650,000 in economic spinoffs to Central Alberta.

But council expressed concern about putting too much on the plates of volunteers over the next three years on top of the two national events already on the calendar.

Roughly 200 volunteers were needed for the cycling event in 2014.

Still, council did not close the door on hosting future events, something that Greg Neiman, a member of the 2013 and 2014 local organizing committees, said is good news.

The avid cyclist said the international cycling event helps grow interest in the sport.

He said the provincial tour gave Red Deerians exposure to a sport that many people in this part of the country would otherwise never have witnessed first-hand.

“In the U.S. and Eastern Canada, cities are familiar with bike racing,” said Neiman. “They know what it is and what it looks like. Out here in the West, it is very much an unknown. I think Red Deer gave this area a really good introduction to how exciting the sport can be.”

Red Deer was not officially asked to host the event but there was talk about hosting the prologue, which are time trials to determine starting positions for the actual race within the city.

Neiman said people would have seen more of the race because the entire stage would have been held here. He said it is more team oriented, which makes it more fun to watch how the teams work together.

“It is watched by millions of people around the world,” said Neiman. “More people watch professional cycle racing than watch professional football. It really puts the city’s amenities on the map if we could put our best foot forward as hosts.”

Stage 1 of the 2015 Tour of Alberta starts today in Grande Prairie.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

The Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club is hoping to win $50,000 through the Mackenzie Investments Top Peak contest. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta ski club trying to win $50K in online contest

A central Alberta ski club has entered a contest where it can… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

Ben King scores for the Red Deer Rebels during the third period of a Western Hockey League game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday. (Photo by Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels complete comeback to pick up first win of season

Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 (OT) The Red Deer Rebels were able to… Continue reading

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on December 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives to call top Sajjan, Trudeau aides to testify on Vance allegations

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives plan to summon two senior Liberal aides… Continue reading

Elvira D'Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Several provinces were preparing to loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, as Canada’s… Continue reading

Mount Pearl Senior High in Mount Pearl, N.L., remains closed on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The provincial health authority says there were 185 cases at 22 schools, including 145 infections among staff and students of one high school in Mount Pearl that was an early epicentre of the outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With her classes, three part-time jobs and a… Continue reading

A passenger places a tag on luggage at the departure terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport, in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, May 24, 2019. The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and familial connections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
COVID-19 pandemic prompts recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries

OTTAWA — The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Rail cars wait for pickup in Winnipeg, Sunday, March 23, 2014. The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian oil and gas on trains destined for the United States — a country experts fear is ill-equipped for the potential consequences. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
As debate rages over cross-border pipelines, U.S. analysts brace for more oil by rail

WASHINGTON — The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian… Continue reading

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

VICTORIA — Legal experts and a mother whose ex-partner was convicted of… Continue reading

Radio and television personality Dick Smyth is shown in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Dick Smyth, Canadian maestro of news radio commentary, dies at 86

TORONTO — Radio and television personality Dick Smyth, whose booming commentary filled… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

Most Read