Tour of Utah elevated to Park City for 2011
The seventh annual Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah cycling race will start in Park City this year after being elevated by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to one of the top three professional stage races for road cycling.
The free six-day event will be held August 9-14th and will feature a prologue and five stages across 400 miles of mountainous terrain.
The opening prologue starts in Park City with the first two stages (August 10-11) in Ogden and Provo. Stage 3 is set for August 12th at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole and is an individual time trial.
Stage 4, a circuit race, is scheduled for August 13th in Salt Lake City . August 14th’s final stage (a road race) is from Park City to Snowbird Ski Resort.
Exact routes will be unveiled in the next month for “America’s Toughest Stage Race.” (The UCI America Tour includes 34 sanctioned events for professionals in 2011.)
A total of 15 professional teams will be invited to race with organizers extending initial invitations to select UCI Pro Teams later this month. Each team is expected to contain eight riders for a total of 20.
Teams will compete for $150,000 in prize money – up for $45,000 as part of UCI sanctioning rules.
The Tour of Utah started in 2004 as a three-day race and was upgraded to a National Racing Calendar event by USA Cycling in 2008.
Levi Leipheimer won last year’s race as a member of Team RadioShack (a UCI ProTeam) but he raced individually with Mellow Johnny’s.
As a side note, organizers are looking for 350+ volunteers for this year’s race. Just head to www.tourofutah.com for more information or go to @theTourofUtah on Twitter. You can also get updates through their Facebook page.