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Tour of Utah canceled for 3rd straight year; organizer cites lacking support

By Tim Vandenack - | Dec 23, 2021

BEN DORGER, Standard-Examiner file photo

In this Aug. 14, 2019, photo, cyclists make their way over the North Ogden Divide during Stage 2 of the Tour of Utah beginning in Brigham City and finishing at Powder Mountain.

PEACHTREE CITY, Georgia — The weeklong Tour of Utah bicycle race, canceled in 2020 and 2021, won’t occur in 2022, either.

The news has at least one cycling organization wondering if the cycling stage race — which launched in 2004 and passed several times through Weber County — is gone for good.

The event organizer, Medalist Sports of Peachtree City, Georgia, announced the cancellation of the 2022 installment on Wednesday, citing lack of support, notwithstanding “ardent efforts” to keep the cycling stage race afloat.

“Ongoing sponsor and host community discussions have been positive; however, not strong enough to support a viable effort to meet our collective expectations,” Chris Aronhalt, owner and president of Medalist Sports, said in a statement. “While disappointed, Medalist Sports is grateful for the opportunity and cherishes the Tour of Utah’s legacy.”

What the news means for the long-term prospects of the Tour of Utah, which made regular forays into Weber County, remains unclear. Medalist Sports reps didn’t immediately respond to queries Thursday seeking comment.

However, Cycling West, which promotes cycling in the West and prints a cycling magazine, put an ominous twist on the news. “No major U.S. race has ever survived a hiatus of this length, meaning the Tour is unlikely to ever return,” it said in a Facebook post.

Utah tourism boosters have lauded the tour as a way to showcase the scenic attributes of Utah to the nation and beyond.

Ogden was a host city for a tour stage seven times and was to have been a venue for the 2020 Tour of Utah before it was canceled.

In 2019, the last tour held, one of the stages passed along the North Ogden Divide and finished at the Powder Mountain ski resort. That 2019 event drew 115 riders from 17 teams and attracted 400,000 spectators, according to event organizers.

Other races have passed through or near the Snowbasin ski resort and west Weber County. Stages have also gone through South Weber, Layton, Centerville and Bountiful in Davis County.

Last April, tour officials announced an agreement with Medalist Sports, a partner in the event, to run the stage race.

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