Tour of Al­berta Can­celled

Pedal Magazine - - Out In Front - BY RON JOHN­SON

At its height, the Tour of Al­berta drew an es­ti­mated 40 mil­lion view­ers from around the world, es­tab­lish­ing it­self as one of the top cy­cling races in North Amer­ica and a bril­liant way to show­case the Prov­ince of Al­berta. But it was plagued with fi­nan­cial woes from the be­gin­ning, and af­ter five years, the non-profit group that or­ga­nized the event, the Al­berta Pelo­ton As­so­ci­a­tion (APA), has can­celled the event and de­clared bank­ruptcy.

“The ATB Tour of Al­berta was one of North Amer­ica’s top cy­cling events and brought some of the world’s best cy­clists to the Prov­ince of Al­berta. We are very proud of the pos­i­tive im­pact this event has had in show­cas­ing Al­berta’s peo­ple, com­mu­ni­ties and land­scapes to the world,” said APA board chair Jef­frey Hansen-Carl­son.

The race, sanc­tioned by Union Cy­cliste In­ter­na­tionale (UCI) and part of the UCI Amer­ica Tour, be­gan in 2013, the cre­ation of for­mer Pro­fes­sional road racer Alex Stieda, the first North Amer­i­can to wear the yel­low jer­sey at the Tour de France. It was clas­si­fied as a 2.1 race, which made it one of the high­est-rated races on the Tour.

Over five years, 29 Al­berta com­mu­ni­ties have hosted more than

525 Pro­fes­sional cy­clists rep­re­sent­ing 33 coun­tries. The event was an­nu­ally broad­cast in more than 150 coun­tries.

De­spite mil­lions of dol­lars in fund­ing from the prov­ince and wide­spread pop­u­lar­ity, the Tour of Al­berta could never make money or break even. APA board pres­i­dent Scott Fisher is quoted as say­ing the event cost an es­ti­mated $1 mil­lion per day to run.

When the APA de­clared bank­ruptcy, it had li­a­bil­i­ties of a re­ported $1.615 mil­lion and left a trail of debt across the prov­ince, coun­try and even one cred­i­tor in Switzer­land.

“This de­ci­sion did not come eas­ily, how­ever with the cur­rent eco­nomic con­di­tions and de­creases in tra­di­tional fund­ing sources, we had no other op­tion. We wish to ex­press our sin­cere thanks to the part­ners, com­mu­ni­ties, ven­dors, vol­un­teers, staff, cy­clists, teams and fans who made the ATB Tour of Al­berta a suc­cess over the last five years,” Hansen-Carl­son added.

The Tour of Al­berta was broad­cast in more than 150 coun­tries and drew an es­ti­mated 40 mil­lion view­ers, but was plagued with fi­nan­cial woes from the be­gin­ning.

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