In its first year of UCI 2.1 classification, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah has already attracted the sport's top domestic talent. Garmin-Cervélo's Tom Danielson, who placed ninth in the Tour de France, has been confirmed for the race, along with BMC's George Hincapie, who, after helping Cadel Evans to the overall victory, has been a part of nine winning Tour teams.
Also on the start list will be Team RadioShack's Levi Leipheimer, the defending champion of the Tour of Utah and winner of this year's Tour de Suisse, as well as US time trial champion David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde of the Garmin-Cervélo team.
120 riders from 16 teams will compete in the Tour of Utah, which begins on August 9 with a prologue in Park City and ends six days and 409 miles later at the Snowbird Ski Resort.
One of the race's main contenders has to be Spaniard Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com), who is the current leader of the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar series and winner of four domestic stage races this year: the Redlands Classic, Sea Otter Classic, Tour of the Gila and Cascade Cycling Classic. He will face strong competition from his fellow countryman Oscar Sevilla, who will headline the Colombian Gobernacion de Antioquia - Indeportes Antioquia team.
Other contenders include Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) and Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare). Absent from the start list is RadioShack's Chris Horner, winner of the Amgen Tour of California, who suffered a head injury in the Tour de France.
For the flatter stages, top sprinters include Robert Förster (UnitedHealthcare), winner of five races this season, and Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Iker Camaño Ortuzar (Endura Racing) both with four wins this year.
"Spectators are going to be treated to incredible competition, the best we have had in six years of competition. The cream of the crop of Pro Continental and Continental teams will be at the Tour of Utah, providing an opportunity for them to go head to head with the ProTeam squads."
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
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