by Morinville News Staff
Two months after the Town of Morinville announced it had terminated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Edmonton Bicycle & Touring Club (EBTC) for its annual Tour de l’Alberta (the Tour), the Tour has partnered with Revolution Cycle and peddled on down the road to Beaumont.
Billing itself as “Alberta’s Largest One-Day Bike Tour”, this year’s event is the 23rd iteration of an event started in 1994 by the EBTC as a way for members to celebrate the Tour de France in French communities while promoting recreational cycling.
The Tour’s website www.tourdalberta.ca shows the event will now take place in Beaumont July 24, which is a move back to the event’s original date to coincide with the last day of the Tour de France.
Although no course map is available on the Tour’s website, organizers are indicating the event will include a 50-, 100-, and 165-km ride, as well as a Family Ride.
The EBTC and the Town first co-hosted the 20th Annual Tour de l’Alberta event in 2014. For many years, the EBTC had contracted an event organizer, but due to increasing costs in contract fees they considered not holding the event in 2014 at all. It was at this time Town staff met with the EBTC Board of Directors to discuss a new management structure where they would be equal partners in the event in 2014, sharing any profits the event generated. The memorandum of understanding was signed between the EBTC and the Town in March of 2014, affirming the new partnership.
The one-day event drew a total of 1,389 riders to Morinville in 2014; however, those numbers were down significantly in 2015 to just under 1000.
The move to Beaumont follows the Town severing a two-year relationship with the bike club by issuing a 30-day notice on Jan. 29 that it would no longer manage the event due to a lack of resource capacity. At that time, the Town indicated they were still open to Morinville being the start and ending point of the Tour as it had for several years.
Shaun Goodeve, Morinville’s Planning & Economic Development Manager, said the decision not to stage the event in Morinville and move it to Beaumont came as a surprise to the Town.
“Morinville has been involved with the Tour for over 20 years and has played a very active role in ensuring that the event has been a tremendous success,” he said. “To clarify, the Town of Morinville terminated the MOU with the EBTC, which pertained strictly to the Town managing and delivering the 2015 Tour leaving open the potential for the Tour to take place in Morinville once again. Regrettably, the EBTC has decided to leave Morinville. However, we wish them success in their new location of Beaumont. Beaumont is a fantastic community, and we hope that the Tour proves beneficial for them.”
Advance registration is now open for the Tour with an early-bird price of $95. The Family Ride will be by donation.