Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tour of Utah

The wait is over. The host cities for the 2012 Tour of Utah were announced last night. http://www.tourofutah.com/

The 8 year old UCI event bills itself as the "toughest stage race" in America and over the years has lived up to its billing. While the US Pro Challenge in Colorado had a bigger audience last year, the Tour of Utah arguably had much better racing. With domestic and international pro teams attending, this year's edition looks to repeat the excitement of last year.

I was part of the Local Organizing Committee for the Ogden stage last year and I look forward to being a part again for 2012. Ogden will host the opening stage and the start of Stage 3. While I have no inside knowledge of the course, I suspect that circuit used last year, which took in 3 laps of the steep North Ogden Divide, would be on tap again.

Stage 2 will be an exciting Team Time Trial at the Miller Motorsports Park and Stage 3 will take riders from Ogden to Salt Lake City. I imagine stage 4 will involve a sprint finish in Utah County with the "Queen Stage" taking riders once again from Park City to Snowbird. The final stage looks to be a circuit race or road race in and around Park City.

There's over 30,000 of climbing on tap for racers. Last year it was the dark horse Columbian team that animated the race and gave eventual two time winner Levi Leipheimer a run for his money. The main protagonist, Sergio Henao, turned his performance into a Pro Tour contract with Team Sky, proving that the Tour of Utah matters on the international stage.

2 weeks before the Tour of Utah, I promote the 170 mile Tour de Park City. I'll just put it out there that any of the domestic pros who would like to test their lungs and legs are welcome to join our race! Check it out at http://www.tourdeparkcity.com/.

The coming months will be exciting as we wait for the team invites to be confirmed and find out what kind of field will be present for this awesome event. The Miller's have indicated a broader TV deal and bigger marketing budget so keep your eyes peeled for more exposure this year.

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