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Nearly 30,000 ft. of climbing on tap for six-day stage race
The complete route for the 2011 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah has been announced today, comprising 409 miles over six days from August 9 to 14. Now in its sixth year, the stage race was elevated this year by the International Cycling Union (UCI) to a 2.1 ranking and will begin with a new uphill prologue at Utah Olympic Park on Tuesday, August 9. There will be a combination of familiar terrain and fresh territory for the following five stages, including a new circuit course in downtown Salt Lake City. The Tour of Utah culminates on Sunday, August 14, with its signature mountaintop stage finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.
The Tour of Utah promises to uphold its distinction as "America's toughest stage race" with close to 30,000 feet of climbing over the total route, as well as providing stunning scenery along the Wasatch Front in and around the six host venues.
"The route this year will definitely challenge the best cyclists from around the globe. We expect each course to be packed with spectators, while enjoying the striking parts of the state of Utah and the local communities. Six days of challenging courses and terrain will not only test pro cyclists, but showcase Utah in a national and international spotlight," said Steve Miller, president of the Utah Cycling Partnership which owns the Tour of Utah.
The race kicks off on August 9 with the debut of an uphill prologue time trial at the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) in Park City. The prologue will cover 1.25 miles (2 km) from the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center, which houses the Alf Engen Ski Museum and 2002 Eccles Winter Olympic Museum, to the summit of UOP, near the start house of the sliding track used for bobsled, luge and skeleton.
The stage one road race on Wednesday, August 10 is the longest stage of the week at 116 miles (187 km). The start/finish is located in downtown Ogden, hosting a stage for the first time, and the peloton will face 8,250 feet of climbing as they make three laps of a 38.5-mile circuit. The course includes a climb over the challenging North Ogden Pass, traveling past Pineview Reservoir and returning to Ogden through Ogden Canyon.
The stage two road race on Thursday, August 11 provides a rolling, 100-mile (161 km) course that offers a new finish line area in Provo. For the second year in a row, the start line of this stage is located at the headquarters of Xango (a leading global nutrition company) on the north side of Utah Lake, less than 20 miles away from Provo. The peloton will encounter 2,820 feet of rolling hills as they ride around the west side of Utah Lake, passing through Goshen, Mona, Santaquin, and Springville. After passing near Brigham Young University in Provo, cyclists will finish at Vivint headquarters (one of the largest home automation companies in North America) in Provo. This is the first time in four years that Provo is an official host city.
Miller Motorsports Park will host the stage three individual time trial on Friday, August 12. It is the fourth consecutive year the "race of truth" will be contested near Tooele, Utah at this state-of-the-art road racing facility completed in 2006 for automobiles, motorcycles and karts. This year's route is very similar to previous years, with both the start and finish located in front of the facility's pit row area. At 9.7 miles (14.5 km), the time trial course has 16 turns on the race track, including one out-and-back section and a turnaround area within walking distance of pit row.
A new course is expected to draw huge crowds on Saturday, August 13 with the stage four circuit race in downtown Salt Lake City. The peloton faces 11 laps of a 7.4 mile circuit for an 81.4-mile (131-km) race with a total of 7,246 feet of climbing. The course begins on Capitol Hill and continues through City Creek Canyon. It continues along 11th Avenue through the Avenues neighborhood and south on Virginia Street into the Federal Heights neighborhood. The peloton should fly along tree-lined Presidents Circle on the University of Utah campus then sprint along South Temple Street, past the Governor's Mansion and under Eagle Gate to Capitol Hill for the finish.
The Tour of Utah returns to Park City on Sunday, August 14 for the start of the stage five road race, the "queen stage" of the six-day tour concluding with mountaintop finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. It is the fourth consecutive year for this 100-mile (161-km) route, which features four significant mountain ascents and a total of 10,900 vertical feet of elevation gain. Going east from Newpark Town Center in Park City, one of the first climbs is along the Jordanelle Reservoir near Kamas. The next major climb is past Midway along the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, an 8.7-mile climb that crosses Mt. Timpanogos near Sundance Resort. After a descent down American Fork Canyon (Hwy. 92) through Uinta National Forest, riders head over the Suncrest Drive climb and past Sandy City. The final climb up Little Cottonwood Canyon covers 3,000 vertical feet in six miles, with 8-12 percent gradients, to the finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.