Kamrani: Tour of Utah delivering the drama right into final day
Turn on the TV Sunday and find the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. Better yet, make the trip up to Park City and make a day of it. Another 95-plus-degree day in the valley can be avoided. Sunday's sixth and final stage of the 2013 Tour of Utah holds so many cards of unpredictability it's hard to count.
That's the beauty of this year's event. It started in the unknown, having kicked the tires for the first time in its eight-year history under the Miller family watch in southern Utah. Stages starting in Brian Head Resort and pedaling through magnificent locales such as Highway 12 and Torrey have played a role in the mercurial peloton.
So far this year's Tour has been undoubtedly one of its best.
The field is strong with Tour de France vets and youngsters who have dominated the podium and owned the yellow jersey. Stages 1 and 2 showcased the splintering of the peloton cycling speak for the core group of riders in the final miles of the race, leaving the finish line up for grabs.
Racing, at its purest form.
Stage 3 showed a 21-year-old Aussie with a masterful mustache, Lachlan Morton, get out in front and stay out in front, obliterating a field with some of the best climbers and descenders in the sport in the shadow of Mount Nebo.
Stage 4 was all about Stage 2 winner Michael Matthews, a 22-year-old Australian they call "Bling," due to his propensity for donning jewelry during races.
Stage 5, the Queen's stage, was all about the wily veteran Chris Horner, the 41-year-old who is competing in his first real stage race in five months due to his recuperating from a knee injury. After basically being a non-factor for the first four stages, Horner is now in yellow, three hours away from a Tour of Utah crown.
You may not know any of these competitors. Some you may have never heard of. But the evolution of the stage race over recent years has bred high-class competition, and Sunday's sixth stage starting and ending in Park City promises to wow.
The 78-mile loop will feature 100-plus pros emptying their gas tanks, sacrificing for their teammates, making timely cuts and capturing seconds and points toward various leads and jerseys.
Each stage to this point has been a spectacle, and Park City's Main Street will be the site of the grand finale Sunday.
Don't miss it.