Organisers of the Tour of Utah have announced that the race, which was cancelled this year, will be back on for 2008. Race chairman Greg Miller of the Larry H. Miller Group, also named veteran Utah bike racer, coach and cycling advocate, Terry McGinnis, as the Tour's Executive Director, and Burke Swindlehurst as the Technical Director. The 342 mile (550 km) race features 30,000 feet (9,140m) of climbing, making it one of the toughest stage races in the US.
With a generous prize purse, McGinnis hopes to attract the best talent in the country. "The purse is $75,000, which includes a brand new automobile," said McGinnis. "We're expecting more than 120 cyclists from the best teams in North America. This tour draws national attention, top-tier athletes, and will hopefully be one of only 25 USA Cycling National Race Calendar (NRC) events."
Race promoters postponed last year's Tour of Utah due to financial constraints. This year, however, the promoters have restructured financial operations, downsized the race to five stages from a proposed seven, and focused on attracting domestic teams by virtue of the NRC status.
"The 2008 Tour of Utah is going to be a huge draw to Utah," said Swindlehurst, who also races with the Toyota United Cycling Team. "The Tour's generous purse, experienced organizers, foresighted planning, riders, crowds, and events will mean one of the best cycling experiences of the year for the entire country. And its going to be beautiful."
The 2008 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Presented by Zions Bank course for 2008:
August 13, Stage One: Nephi to Nephi The first day's event will mean 101 miles through rolling, central Utah. Beginning and ending in Nephi, racers will cut through neighboring towns of Fountain Green, Wales, Spring City, Fairview, Moroni and Mount Pleasant, and include a total of 4,851 ft. of climbing.
August 14, Stage Two: Salt Lake to Ogden Four climbs and a flat finish – 9,960 ft. of climbing. The road race will run 84 miles from Salt Lake City to Ogden, home of Weber State University.
August 15, Stage Three: Downtown SLC Criterium In the heart of Salt Lake City, the Downtown SLC Criterium is a 90-minute race around a flat, four-cornered track. Fast and furious, the circuit is one mile in length.
August 16, Stage Four: Deer Valley to Snowbird A mountaintop finish following four fierce climbs for a total of 14,778 vertical feet. From Deer Valley Resort in Park City, through the outskirts of Salt Lake to Snowbird Ski Resort: a road race of 99 mountainous miles.
August 17, Stage Five: Miller MotorSports Park Individual TT An 18-mile time trial starting and finishing at the Miller Motor Sportspark in Tooele, UT. The course begins with a slight uphill, then drops and turns aggressively skyward to the turnaround, where racers will head back toward the finish. Short, with 650 ft. of climbing, for a fast, tough time trial.
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