CEDAR CITY --For the first time in the history of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah professional cycling event, organizers will include several cities and venues in southern Utah. Of the 10 host venues unveiled Tuesday at a press conference in Cedar City, seven are first-time venues for the world-class, six-stage professional cycling race and community festival.
The 2013 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will begin Monday, Aug. 5 with opening festivities in Cedar City, and continue across the state for six days of racing, Aug. 6 to 11.
The 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 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.
Snowbasin will host the start of Stage 5, as well as the recreational race, The Ultimate Challenge.
Spanning almost the entire length of the state, the Tour of Utah will begin in southern red rock country near world-famous Bryce Canyon National Park. It will finish among the alpine peaks of the Wasatch Front in northern Utah.
The state is home to five National Parks and seven national monuments; the Tour of Utah will have host venues near four of these natural treasures, three in the south and one to the north. Three Utah ski resorts will host either a stage start or a stage finish.
The week of competition will include five road races and one circuit race. Detailed routes and race mileage will be announced later.
Date Host Partners Stage Information
Aug. 6 Brian Head to Cedar City Stage 1, Road Race
Aug. 7 Panguitch to Torrey Stage 2, Road Race
Aug. 8 Richfield to Payson Stage 3, Road Race
Aug. 9 Salt Lake City Stage 4, Circuit Race
Aug. 10 Snowbasin Resort to Snowbird Stage 5, Road Race
Aug. 11 Park City to Park City Stage 6, Road Race
This year marks the sixth consecutive year for host partners Salt Lake City and Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. Park City returns to host the Tour for a fifth time.
The epic climbing route for Saturday's "Queen Stage" will return for the signature finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, but will begin for the first time at Snowbasin Resort. Snowbasin Resort will also host the start for The Ultimate Challenge recreational ride, held earlier the same day as Stage Five of The Tour of Utah.
"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. "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 Overall Start on Aug. 6 makes its debut at Brian Head, the highest resort town in the U.S. In addition to hosting the stage finish for Stage One, Cedar City will also present the Team Presentation Event on Aug. 5.
Stage Two will begin in Panguitch, just northwest of the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park. Stage Two's finish will be hosted by Torrey, a small community situated in the heart of red canyon country in the shadows of 11,000-foot Thousand Lake Mountain.
Stage Three will bridge the central region of Utah in Richfield with Payson in the Utah Valley to the north. The Stage Three finish will take the Tour to the south side of Utah Lake, where Payson rests in the shadows of the Wasatch Front.
Salt Lake City will return for a sixth year as the host city for Stage Four of the Tour. This Friday contest will feature a popular multi-lap circuit that will begin and end near the state Capitol.
Saturday's affair is known as the "Queen Stage", which is the grand day in the mountains for the climbers. Snowbasin Resort debuts to host the new start for Stage Five on Aug. 10.
Snowbird Resort returns as the official finish host venue for Stage Five for a sixth year. The final ascent up the narrow and steep section of Little Cottonwood Canyon has become a popular outdoor amphitheater for spectators. This signature climb for "America's Toughest Stage Race" provides close to 3000 feet of elevation gain over 6.5 miles.
Also new for 2013 will be the route for The Ultimate Challenge, a recreational bicycle ride for amateurs held the same day as Stage Five of the Tour of Utah. Snowbasin Resort will host the start of The Ultimate Challenge, beginning several hours prior to the start of the pro race. Amateurs will have several ride options that day, with the century riders finishing at Snowbird. Last year 604 amateur cyclists took part in The Ultimate Challenge.
Stage Six will return to Park City on Aug. 11, the second consecutive year for the Stage Start and Overall Finish in this year-round resort town. A challenging stage race will be similar to 2012, with a final epic climb over Empire Pass. Expect huge crowds to pack Historic Main Street and see the champion crowned for the 2013 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah for the grand finale.
"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.
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues to be free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique pro sports in the world today. More than 2,000 volunteer positions will be filled over the course of the week, and registration is available on the Tour's web site, www.tourofutah.com.