Cycling: Tour of Utah expands to southern part of state
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Feb 05 2013 12:19PM
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is expanding its horizons.
For the first time in the history of the stage race, organizers will include several cities and venues in southern Utah in the 2013 version of "America’s Toughest Stage Race." Of the 10 host venues unveiled today at a press conference in Cedar City, seven are first-time venues for the six-stage professional cycling race. Included in that are southern-and-central Utah communities Brian Head, Cedar City, Panguitch, Torrey, Richfield and Payson, among others. The Salt Lake City circuit race stage is scheduled to take place around the Capitol building when the peloton moves north as the week continues. Snowbasin Resort to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort will return as the fifth stage, while Park City is set to host the final stop of the Tour of Utah for the second straight year.
The 2013 Tour of Utah will begin Monday, Aug. 5, with opening festivities in Cedar City, and continue across the state for six days of racing, Tuesday, Aug. 6 to Sunday, Aug. 11. In addition to hosting the finish for the race’s first stage, Cedar City will also present the Team Presentation Event on Monday, Aug. 5.
Spanning almost the entire length of the state in 2013, the Tour of Utah will begin in southern red rock country near world-famous Bryce Canyon National Park and will finish along the Wasatch Back. As Utah is home to five national parks and seven national monuments, the Tour of Utah will have host venues near four of them — three in the south and one to the north. Three Utah ski resorts will also host either a stage start or a stage finish.
"We are excited to see the continued growth of the Tour of Utah that will now expand into the southern part of the state," said Jeff Robbins, president & CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, in the release.
The week of competition will include five road races and one circuit race. Detailed routes and race mileage will be announced in the coming months.
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues for a third consecutive year as one of the top professional cycling events in North America, a 2.1-rated stage race sanctioned by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale). Last year, seven of the total 17 teams competed earlier in the year at the Tour de France. Known as "America’s Toughest Stage Race," the Tour of Utah featured 38,500 feet of climbing over the 543 miles covered in six days in 2012.
"We’ve always had our eye on expanding the Tour to the southern part of the state, and with great fan, sponsor and community support, we’ve been able to do that," said Steve Miller, President of the Tour of Utah, and newly named COO of Miller Sports Properties, in a release. "Our fan base provided solid crowds every day last year, and we attracted widespread audiences watching the race live on FOX Sports Network and on the web with TourTracker. The Tour of Utah generated $14 million in direct economic impact for the state in 2012 and our race expansion is expected to have an even greater impact.
"From Cedar City to Park City, we appreciate the support of all our 2013 host cities and look forward to the biggest year yet."
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah began as a three-day Thanksgiving Point Stage Race & Cycling Festival over Memorial Day weekend in 2004. The Utah Cycling Partnership, owned by the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, purchased the event in 2007 and re-launched the cycling event in 2008 as a five-day National Racing Calendar event. In 2011, the Tour of Utah was elevated by the UCI to a 2.1-rated stage race on the UCI America Tour. The race is also sanctioned by USA Cycling, Inc.