Tour of Utah branches out with southern swing

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will extend beyond the reach of the state capital Salt Lake City in 2013 with a southern swing to start the six-stage race. The route was unveiled today in Cedar City, which will host the first stage finish after the Grand Depart at the Brian Head Resort.

These are just two of seven new host cities for the UCI 2.1-ranked event. Historically, each stage took place within easy driving distance of Salt Lake City, but to incorporate some of the most dramatic scenery the state has to offer, organisers have taken the first three stages from the far southwestern corner of the state back up into its traditional stomping grounds.

After a team presentation on Monday, August 5, 2013 in Cedar City, the opening stage begins at Brian Head Resort, which sits at 9,800 feet above sea level, and heads back to Cedar City, taking in the red rocks of Cedar Breaks National Monument and Dixie National Forest.

The second day will head from Panguitch to Torrey, skirting Bryce Canyon National Park. On day three, the riders will head up from Richfield north to Payson, which is just south of Salt Lake City.

The second half of the race will be on more familiar roads: The Salt Lake City circuit is back on stage 4, the Snowbird Ski Resort hosts the queen stage finish once again, and Park City will hold the grand finale.

"We've always had our eye on expanding the Tour to the southern part of the state, and with great fan, sponsor and community support, we've been able to do that,” said Steve Miller, President of the Tour of Utah.

The ‘queen’ Snowbird stage gets a new start line in 2013, with the Snowbasin Resort debuting. During the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Snowbasin gained attention as the host for the men’s and women’s Downhill, Super G, Combined and Paralympic ski events.

The public will get a chance to experience some of the same challenges as the event once again includes The Ultimate Challenge, a recreational bicycle ride for amateurs held the same day as stage 5. There will be several ride options, with a century finishing at the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

"We are excited to see the continued growth of the Tour of Utah that will now expand into the southern part of the state," said Jeff Robbins, president & CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. "The event generates significant economic impact for the state and will now be able to showcase Utah's red rock scenery along with the beauty of the northern part of our great state."

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