Tour of Utah ups ante in distance and elevation gain
Organizers of the 2014 Tour of Utah on Wednesday released the official race routes for what they say is now the longest professional cycling stage race in North America this year.
The Tour of Utah, which has been expanded to seven stages, will cover 753.8 miles and 57,863 feet of vertical gain beginning Aug. 4.
For the racing field, that represents a 30 percent increase in climbing terrain and a 32 percent increase in total mileage.
The tour will begin in southern Utah for a second consecutive year and run north through 12 host cities and venues in Utah and Wyoming.
This year's tour will feature 17 mountain climbs and 14 sprints. Along with two mountaintop finishes this year (stages 4 and 6), the tour route will pass or finish near seven ski resorts from Brian Head in the south to the new finish at Powder Mountain in the north. At 10,759 feet above sea level, Bald Mountain Pass on Stage 5 presented by Subaru will be the highest point ever crossed by the peloton at the Tour of Utah.
"The Tour of Utah will achieve multiple first-time superlatives in the 10th edition of the race," said Steve Miller, president of Miller Sports Properties, which organizes the Tour of Utah. "For the first time, the race has been expanded to seven days. We will surpass the milestones of 750 miles and 57,000 feet of climbing. We have expanded the route beyond Utah's borders. However, the iconic red rock scenery, national forests and mountain passes remain as the foundation of an awe-inspiring course for our spectators and cyclists to experience."
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah was elevated in 2011 by Union Cycliste International, the global governing body of the sport of cycling, to a 2.1-rated stage race. Sanctioned by both USA Cycling and UCI, the Tour of Utah continues as one of the top four UCI America Tour events covering a full week of racing in North America this year.
Host venues for 2014 are Cedar City, Panguitch, Torrey, Lehi, Miller Motorsports Park, Ogden, Powder Mountain, Evanston, Wyo., Kamas, Salt Lake City, Snowbird and Park City.
"This event continues to raise the bar as America's toughest stage race," said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. "With Stage 3 returning to Miller Motorsports Park, one of Utah's many world-class venues will be highlighted and showcased around the world."
Tour of Utah schedule
Aug. 4 Stage 1 Cedar City to Cedar City
Aug. 5 Stage 2 Panguitch to Torrey
Aug. 6 Stage 3 Lehi to Tooele
Aug. 7 Stage 4 Ogden to Powder Mountain
Aug. 8 Stage 5 Evanston, Wyo., to Kamas
Aug. 9 Stage 6 Salt Lake City to Snowbird
Aug. 10 Stage 7 Park City to Park City
Tour of Utah, by the numbers
The Tour of Utah now claims to be the longest, toughest stage cycling race in North America. Here are the key numbers:
Mileage • 753.8 miles/1,213 kilometers
Climbing • 57,863 feet/17,636.6 meters of elevation gain
Number of stages • 7
Ski resorts passed • 7
Number of mountain climbs • 17
Number of sprints • 14
Highest elevation to be crossed by the race • 10,759 feet above sea level on Stage 5
First time race extended outside Utah • Evanston, Wyoming
First women's event added to race week • Tour of Utah Women's Edition
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