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Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Jenn Andrs, executive director of the Tour of Utah, announced the host venues for the 2017 cycling race at a press conference at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017.
There’s literally not one thing that Utah does not have. It stands up to every other race in the world. —T.J. Eisenhart, professional cyclist

SALT LAKE CITY — The 13th edition of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, dubbed as “America’s Toughest Stage Race,” will have some classic locations as well some venues new to the racing scene organizers of the seven-stage race announced Wednesday.

Four of the seven hosts for each of the stages are new destinations for the week-long event, which is scheduled for July 31-Aug. 6. First-time hosts include Brigham City, Big Cottonwood Canyon, South Jordan and Layton.

“The stage destinations for the Tour of Utah change each year with the intention of bringing the sport of cycling to new people, presenting challenging courses for the riders and showcasing the stunning scenery around the state,” said Jenn Andrs, the Tour’s executive director.

Although specific routes and courses have not yet been determined by the organizers, the announcement of the host venues painted a scenic image of how the race will look. The Tour will begin on July 31 in Logan, which previously hosted the start of the 2015 race. Highlights are expected to include a ride through the college town atmosphere and along Bear Lake and through Logan Canyon.

New host Brigham City will take the baton as the second stage of the event, with the course set to conclude with a ride into Snowbasin Resort, which has been a Tour of Utah location in the past, but will serve as a stage finish for the first time this summer.

For the third stage, riders will move through first-time host Big Cottonwood Canyon in an individual time trial competition. T.J. Eisenhart, a Lehi native and professional cyclist who was named Fan Favorite of last year’s Tour, stated his excitement for the time trial at the announcement press conference.

“I’m extremely excited about the individual time trial,” said Eisenhart. “I’m a past national champion in the time trial event and I just love the idea of time trial events. The fact that the Tour of Utah hasn’t had one in a long time, it’s really exciting.”

The hump stage will take place in a new location in South Jordan, which had welcomed the race as it passed through last year, and will now serve as an official start and finish line for a circuit race.

For the third straight year, Bountiful, known for its flag decorations and cheering crowds, will host the finish for the fifth stage, with the stage beginning north in Layton for the first time.

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The penultimate, or “Queen,” stage will take place in the Heber Valley and head towards Snowbird Resort. The final day is expected to be filled with adoring and excited fans as the tour will conclude with a circuit race through the downtown streets of Salt Lake City.

“There’s literally not one thing that Utah does not have. It stands up to every other race in the world,” praised Eisenhart. “Whether it be the incredible altitude, the incredible mountains, or honestly just the heat. It really has every challenge that every professional athlete is looking for.”

Further details regarding the exact race mileage, formats, elevation gain and start/finish times will be announced later in the spring.