The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will return to the United States' National Racing Calendar (NRC) on August 17-22 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The six-day stage race promises to bring back 17 of the top professional men's teams in the nation to compete over the challenging and mountainous parcours.
The Tour of Utah mourned the loss of its former executive director Terry McGinnis, who passed away after a two-year battle against colon cancer in October. Karen Weiss was promoted to fill that role and aims to continue the steady growth of a race that has become one of the most anticipated events in the country.
"Terry took this race to another level and he has given us a wonderful platform to keep going with it," said Weiss. "We take a look at becoming UCI every year and weigh the options. It's a big jump and our race is definitely that caliber. We need to take baby steps and make sure that we do it correctly."
In addition to title sponsor Larry H. Miller, Zions Bank returns as a long term presenting sponsor. Weiss says the return of the Utah-based savings bank and trust company along with all of its sponsors from the previous season will once again ensure a well-organised event.
"Having all our sponsors return has been a tremendous testament to the wonderful job Terry did on this race," Weiss continued. "It has been so pleasant to sit down with all of our sponsors and talk to them. We made really great, new, bigger and better deals with them. It is really great and the race is going to look a lot bigger."
It has become branded as America's toughest stage race because it passes the Rocky Mountain's Wasatch Range and challenges the peloton to 480 kilometres of racing in six days, all held in and around Salt Lake City.
"It's a great race, there are very few races in the US that have those kinds of mountaintop finishes and big mountain passes and it's nice to have that opportunity," said Mike Tamayo, director sportif UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis. "It's growing every year and as we bring more teams and talent into the race, it will change the aspects of that bike race."
"It falls at the perfect time," he added. "It's held before the USPro Championships and Tour of Missouri so a lot of riders use it to fine tune before those. I'd say its the premier stage race of August."
Up, down and all around Salt Lake
The best of the best in road cycling will line up one-by-one on the starting ramp at the event's opening Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau prologue located at the Utah State Captiol held on August 17.
The race will head into the mountains at University Healthcare's Ogden to Salt Lake City stage one road race. Stage two will take the riders on a jaunt over some of the toughest roads in the state at the XANGO Thanksgiving Point to the top of Mt. Nebo road race.
The time trialists will have their day to shine at the stage three Miller Motorsport Park presented by Teamgive time trial, a race that could reshuffle the overall classification.
The penultimate stage four is a day for the sprinters at the Park City presented by Heiden Davidson Orthopedics criterium.
The overall GC winner will emerge at the end of the fifth and final stage at the Park City to Snowbird presented by Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort road race, concluding the 2010 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on August 22.
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.