12/17/2012 01:56 EST | Updated 02/16/2013 05:12 EST

Tour of Alberta cycling to debut in 2013, race to run from Edmonton to Calgary

CALGARY - Pro cycling is coming to Alberta.

The six-stage Tour of Alberta race is scheduled to debut Sept 3-8, 2013, starting in Edmonton and finishing in Calgary.

Sanctioned by the world governing body of cycling (UCI), the Alberta race will feature up to 16 pro cycling teams of up to eight riders per team. Organizers estimate up to half will be top pro teams.

Alberta's Rural Development Fund is providing $3.5 million to help fund the even, with additional support coming from corporate sponsorship.

"The Tour of Alberta is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our province as Albertans join with cycling fans from around the world in an international celebration of sport and culture," Alberta Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk said in a statement.

The race route will be announced in early 2013.