The professional cycling team sponsored by SmartStop Self Storage, the retail brand for Strategic Storage Trust Inc., will participate in the Tour of Alberta stage race, Sept. 3-8, in Alberta, Canada. The SmartStop-Mountain Khakis Professional Cycling Team is one of only 15 international teams participating in the race. To determine invitees, race organizers looked at each team’s history and pedigree, race results, athletes, and overall professionalism.
The inaugural Tour of Alberta will be an internationally ranked UCI 2.1 stage race—a prestigious designation by the world-cycling governing body—and will include participation from six top WorldTour teams. These are groups that compete in the Tour De France, Giro D'Italia and other races at the pinnacle of the sport. The Tour of Alberta will be televised on international broadcast networks such as Universal Sports in the United States and EuroSports in Europe.
"We are extremely pleased with our team's 2013 criterium and recent success in stage racing thus far," said H. Michael Schwartz, chairman and CEO of Strategic Storage Trust. "The invitation to the Tour of Alberta shows the continual growth of our team."
This race will be a sentimental favorite for the team, as team co-owner Jamie Bennett is Canadian and has family throughout Alberta. The team is also sponsored by Canadian-based Maple Reinders Construction and Engineering. "The opportunity to take a rider from Alberta to our team embodies the spirit of entrepreneurialism that exists with our partnership with SmartStop," said Bennett, a senior partner with Budget Development, a developer and manager of self-storage properties. "We expect to turn some heads with the direction of our program and take SmartStop to the forefront of North American professional bike racing."
The Alberta team participating includes a mix of experienced riders, new team recruits and new director, longtime professional Mike Creed, a veteran of the sport who has raced at the highest level all over the world. Creed will be partnered with co-director Gustavo Carrillo.
The list of riders includes Bobby Lea, who placed fifth at the UCI 2.1 at the Tour of Elk Grove, Clay Murfet, Shane Kline and Canadian Ben Chaddock. Flavio De Luna will make his second appearance with the team, following his successful ride in the King of the Mountains jersey at the BMC Cascade Cycling Classic stage race last month. The team will debut a new rider, Kristofer Dahl, who won the right to ride on the team as part of the "Making The Tour" contest by winning the Banff Bikefest Stage Race. Current U.S. Elite Criterium Champion Travis McCabe and Eric Marcotte, both formerly of Elbowz Racing, will also compete for the team.
Strategic Storage Trust is a publicly registered, non-traded real estate investment trust. The company’s self-storage portfolio includes 113 properties in 17 states and Canada, approximately 72,000 self-storage units and 9.5 million rentable square feet of storage space.