Ravell Call, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY – The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will feature both extension and expansion in the 10th installment of the world-class event that will be held Aug. 4-10.
For the first time, the tour, which is sanctioned by both the UCI and USA Cycling, will extend to seven full days of racing in 12 host cities, including first-time venues of Powder Mountain, Kamas, and Evanston, Wyo.
Steve Miller, president of the Tour of Utah, has watched the tour evolve from a multiday regional race to an internationally recognized event.
“We are breaking new ground,” Miller, who is also the president of Miller Sports Properties, said during a press conference Tuesday at Rice-Eccles Stadium. “This is really significant for us.”
The tour is continuing its presence in Southern Utah for the second straight year, returning to Cedar City, Panguitch and Torrey after positive reviews from fans, riders, TV viewers and the host communities.
“I think having seen the race grow over the years, the start in the south was phenomenal,” said Sean Petty, the chief of domestic and international affairs for USA Cycling. “It’s one of the few races I’ve ever seen where riders were taking out their phones, taking pictures along the course, and tweeting them after the race.”
The tour, a professional stage race for the top cycling teams in the world, annually covers 600 miles of racing and 38,000 feet in elevation climbs. A 2.1-rated UCI American tour stage race, the tour is gaining attention as one of the most challenging events of its type.
“To see it as a top-tier cycling event, not only in the U.S., but in the world, this is really one of the top cycling events in the world. (It) is remarkable,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, who added that the event has created a great ripple effect throughout the state.
“This event that we had last year (generated) $17.5 million in economic impact ... and then ... generated $8 million in media value,” he said. “To be able to showcase the state, showcase the beauty, all of the things that have taken place in Utah and really show what Utah is all about is truly remarkable. “
The tour already has commitments from six professional cycling teams, including the currently top-ranked team on the UCI World Tour, ORICA GreenEDGE from Australia, as well as Team Garmin-Sharp, a USA-based team that is currently ranked fifth on the UCI World Tour and won the 2013 Tour of Utah.
The 2014 Tour of Utah will kick off in Cedar City with the team presentation on Aug. 2 and then the start of Stage 1 on Aug. 4. Stage 2 will travel from Panguitch to Torrey before moving north for Stage 3, which will go from Lehi to the Miller Motorsports Park. Stage 4 will begin in Ogden and end at Powder Mountain; Stage 5 will go from Evanston to Kamas; Stage 6 will return to Salt Lake City and end at Snowbird; and Stage 7 will take place in Park City.
2014 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
Stage 1 – Aug. 4, Cedar City
Stage 2 – Aug. 5, Panguitch to Torrey
Stage 3 – Aug. 6, Lehi to Miller Motorsports Park
Stage 4 – Aug. 7, Ogden to Powder Mountain
Stage 5 – Aug. 8, Evanston, Wyo. To Kamas
Stage 6 – Aug. 9, Salt Lake City to Snowbird
Stage 7 – Aug. 10, Park City
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.
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