OGDEN — The Tour of Utah is coming back to Weber County.
Tour representatives have filed permit requests for the planned Weber County stop with county officials, and the paperwork shows the cyclists will be coming here from Brigham City, finishing at the Powder Mountain ski resort near Eden. The annual week-long bike race skipped Weber County in 2018, disappointing some, and the planned Stage 2 stop on Aug. 14, a Wednesday, marks its return.
The tour showcases Utah’s physical attributes and promotes the state as a travel spot, said Sara Toliver, president of Visit Ogden, the county’s convention and visitors bureau. “Millions of eyeballs,” she said, will be watching, whether live or electronically, and having a local stop puts Weber County on a big stage.
“Having the tour is a great benefit to the county,” she said. The bike race, one of the premiere cycling events in the country, starts Aug. 12 with a prologue at the Snowbird ski resort and finishes on Aug. 18 in Park City.
Per the preliminary route map tour reps submitted to Weber County officials, the cyclists will take U.S. 89 from Brigham City and travel south through Pleasant View before turning east on 2700 North. They’ll take 2700 North east into the heart of North Ogden, where the road morphs into 2600 North, then take the North Ogden Divide into the Ogden Valley.
The cyclists will complete two laps around Pineview Reservoir before the steep mountain climb to the finish line at Powder Mountain, the first time it will have finished at the resort since 2014. The Eden area around Pineview sits at an altitude of around 4,900 feet, according to Utah State University, while Hidden Lake Lodge, near the finish line, sits at an altitude of 8,900 feet.
The finish heading into Powder Mountain is “one of the steepest roads in Utah,” according to a tour press release from last January, when preliminary details for the 2019 route were announced. It described the last leg as “seven miles of pavement that push upwards of 16% in gradient.”
Toliver called the steep finish an “incredible challenge.” Cyclists in 2014 reported that it was one of the toughest rides they had ever completed, she said.
In prior years, the tour itinerary has included Ogden and the Snowbasin ski resort, according to Toliver.
The proposed route of the tour through Weber County and the rest of the state still must be confirmed and finalized. A formal announcement from tour reps on the itinerary is planned for early June, also when organizers will start seeking volunteers to help with logistics.
The tour this year is also scheduled to take cyclists to North Logan, Antelope Island and Salt Lake City, among other locales.