August 6-12 Lynda & I will put our best efforts into
An interesting tidbit for this years (5th) running is that the course is mostly new (the first 2 stages may be similar or the same). I think it came down to politics - Alberta wouldn't increase the rider limit, but BC would allow more riders. Since the course previously was mostly within Alberta, it was essentially as big as would ever be, and apparently that didn't jive for the race organizers. So this year the course is primarily in British Columbia. The course details have not yet been made public, but the stage endpoints have been. Here they are in a Google Earth rendering.
The start is about 180 miles SW of Calgary. Since we are doing the deluxe package (complete with RV), we'll pick up our RV in Calgary and then it's vacation time. The Canadian Rockies are spectacular and it's tough to contain this anticipation! I've driven through this area on route to Alaska about umpteen years ago, but to be honest my recollection is a bit fuzzy. My merry little group of river guides were strip-searched at the border so had to immediately activate our emergency stress relief plan...was great at the time, not so great for the memory...but it was big, tall mountain scenery, deep woods, and robin-egg blue streams, much like the little C. at the big C. confluence, but for different reasons: glacial melt.
Just looking at the stage 4 endpoints gets me all fired up. That there is some tall scenery and it looks like we'll get up there to see each acre of it a time or two...
A start list is also posted. In the coed field there are 32 teams listed. I only recognize 2 teams (strong US riders), but it is an international field with riders from the US, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, GB, Ireland, Scottland (did I spell that right Lynda??), South Africa and I'm sure I missed a few. Lynda's been a globetrotter in the past, but this is going to be completely new to me.
For the most part, these nutty builds Lynda & I have been doing have been to serve one purpose this year: to enable us to race and recover for 5-6 hours/day for 7 days. We're hoping it works, but regardless it'll be a hoot to ride for 7 days through them thar mountains.
On other fronts...For those that haven't given up on Le Tour,