Mike Woods cemented the red Best Canadian Rider jersey (likely tinted brown after six days of often wet, frigid racing) at the Tour of Alberta after a final circuit race in downtown Edmonton. The Ottawa, Ontario native won the classification, which became a climber’s contest after two days in Jasper National Forest on the steep slopes of the Colorado Rockies, where temperatures plummeted near the freezing mark. Woods’ finishing time in Alberta of 20 hours, 23 minutes and 53 seconds won him a new maple leaf emblazoned jersey by a margin of 55 seconds, over former Vuelta a España champion Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin). The result was good enough for 10th overall on general classification.
Par for the course in Alberta for most of the week. The race continued to find new ways to make the peloton suffer, including extensive dirt and gravel sections in stage five. Photo © Casey B. Gibson
As the week wore on, crosswinds, rain, and the relentless cold turned the race into a battle of attrition, and the conditions amplified the chaos in nearly every stage finish, leaving few tactical options for the exhausted peloton. The finish in Edmonton marks the end of the team’s longest block of stage racing in 2015, with a final coda coming soon with the 7th and final UCI ranked one-day race in the Reading 120, followed by the UCI World Championship Team Time Trial on September 20.
See Casey B. Gibson galleries from all six stages of the Tour of Alberta.
Stage 1 | Grande Prairie
Stage 2 | Grande Prairie Country Circuit Race
Stage 3 | Grande Cache to Jasper National Park
Stage 4 | Jasper to Marmot Basin
Stage 5 | Edson to Spruce Grove
Stage 6 | Edmonton Circuit Race