Tour of Alberta – Stage 1 – Sherwood Park to Camrose

We start our Wednesday like we always do. In the pool. Our Coach, T, has us do sprint work, yet again. 100s and 50s today. A good workout to start a day to warm up to follow the Tour of Alberta to Camrose.

After swimming, we stop at home to pick up our lunch and drive to Ardrossan. It is exciting to see the tour go through the Ardrossan area, this is where we ride with our friends. We have chosen a tight corner at RR221A and Base Line Road. When we arrive, the only other person there is the marshal at the corner. Slowly the area fills with spectators. A train even rumbles by.

Tour of Alberta - Ardrossan Corner

Tour of Alberta – Murray waiting

We know the riders are getting close as more and more police, in cars and on motorbikes, stream by. Then, the break of 4 riders cruises around the corner. I am thrilled, there is a Jelly Belly rider amongst them. Jelly Belly is a continental team of young riders.

Then the peleton approaches and whizzes by. I am entranced by the colors of the jerseys on the groups of riders. Cannondale, protecting Peter Sagan is on the front, with Garmin-Sharp following closely behind then BMC.

Tour of Alberta - Ardrossan Corner

Tour of Alberta – Ardrossan Corner

The long line of team and neutral cars follows in the peleton;s wake.

1 ardrossan carWe jump in our car and rally race to our next destination – the feed zone. Murray navigates and I drive. It helps that we know the roads from riding on them and we are able to stay out of the congestion of other tour traffic.

1 feed zone sign

Feed Zone!

We strategically place ourselves on either side of the road further down from the end of the feed zone. We learned at the Tour de France, it takes more than a few meters for the riders to dig through their musettes for the goodies and then to toss the musettes away. Again, the break of 4 comes through and then the peleton.

Feed Zone - The Break

Feed Zone – The Break

Feed Zone - The Peleton

Feed Zone – The Peleton

Yahoo! We walk away with 3 musettes, one of which was tossed right at Murray, had a water bottle in it, and a hand full of gels, power bars and gummies.

On to our next destination – Camrose. We have more highway driving and the road is busy with tour support vehicles and spectators. We arrive, find a spot to park and walk to the main festival grounds.We meet J again. We met her at the Prologue yesterday. She travels to many of the races and knows alot of the cyclists by name.

1 Jo

J, from Ireland now living in Vancouver

We are surprised that the festival is so extensive and there are so many festival goers. We stop to ask about the route and chat with a lady who tells us the schools were closed all day so the children could attend the festival. Camrose has put on quite a party!

Camrose Spectator

Camrose Spectator?

We find a place to watch and suddenly the riders are again whizzing by. The break is swallowed up and it is looking like a group sprint for the finish line.

Camrose Circuit

Camrose Circuit

Peter Sagan sprints to the finish with Eric Young (Optum) and Moreno Hofland (Belkin) in second and third.

Tour of Alberta Stage 1 Finish Line

Stage 1 Finish Line

We stay to watch the awards and to procure a couple of autographs.

Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan

We chat to a couple of guys with the Jelly Belly team and are given little packs of…wait for it…..jelly beans! The Jelly Belly rider, Jeremy Powers, who was in the break was awarded the Most Aggressive Jersey today. Very friendly fellow and a wonderful ambassador for cycling.

 

Jeremy Powers

Jeremy Powers

A great day of tracking the Tour of Alberta and we will start again tomorrow with the feed zone north of Ponoka and either the hill east of Red Deer or the circuit in Red Deer. We then will drive to the Drumheller area, camp overnight and start again!

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