Posted by Editoress on 09/6/16
The 2016 Tour of Alberta concluded on Labour Day Monday in Edmonton with a 124 kilometre circuit race through the downtown in front of thousands of fans. Spain's Francisco Mancebo won the stage in a breakaway, just in front of the peloton. Peter Disera (H&R Block) was the top Canadian finisher, in fourth place. American Robin Carpenter (Holowesko/Citadel) won the overall title, with Alex Cataford (Silber Pro Cycling) the top Canadian in fifth place, winning the Best Canadian jersey. Antoine Duchesne of Chicoutimi, Quebec, was the top rider for Team Canada, finishing 16th on the stage and eighth in the final standings. Silber also won the Best Team for the race.
A group of 13 riders broke away early in the race, gaining over two minutes on the field, led by Carpenter's team. The break began to shed riders in the second half of the stage, and was down to Mancebo, Canada's David Drouin (Silber) and Toms Skujins (Cannondale-Drapac)with four laps to go. The break was caught in the final lap, with the exception of Mancebo, who held on for the win.
"It was great to be able to hold onto the jersey," said Cataford. "This is the biggest race for us in Canada, and to get the Best Canadian award is a great honour. I can't thank my team mates enough for the whole week in the way they supported me. This year for the team has been incredible, and it has become a really good stepping stone for young Canadians wanting to race at the highest level in the sport."
For Team Canada, the week saw Duchesne in the Best Canadian Jersey on the opening stage, plus Alexis Cartier finishing second on Stage 2, and finished sixth overall in the team standings.
Team Director Kevin Field explained, "I think the race went really well; we are really trying to work on blended projects, which is why we have top pros like Antoine Duchesne here and Hugo Houle at Tour de Beauce earlier in the season, and mixing them with the Under-23 program at Team RaceClean and other young riders on trade teams like Garneau-Quebecor, Silber and H&R Block. We used this race as an opportunity for those young guys to show themselves and ride at a higher level, and learn from riders like Tony [Duchesne], and I think we achieved that here. The team was animating the race, we were aggressive and trying to create opportunities for Tony, and I think when we debrief we will be very satisfied with this week."