Tour of Utah will head north for 2015 route

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah today revealed route details for the UCI 2.HC stage race scheduled for August 3-9.

The seven-day race will travel to Northern Utah for the first time and will make a run through Idaho during the opening stage. The Salt Lake City circuit race returns for stage 5, along with some slight tweaks to the Saturday “Queen Stage” that finishes at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

The 1145.85km race, which features 15,679.5 meters of elevation gain, will visit four new counties, three new state parks and one new ski resort over the seven days of racing. The first four days will traverse new terrain along the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. New routes are on tap for the Salt Lake City circuit race on Friday and for the start of Saturday’s Queen Stage.

The race also announced the courses and start times for the Tour of Utah Women’s Edition: Criterium Classic. The Criterium Classic will take place Monday, August 3, from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. on a 2.4km circuit in downtown Logan. The second day of racing will take place the following day from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. on a 2.3km circuit in downtown Ogden.

“With the route for the Tour of Utah changing each year, we are proud to design courses that continue to challenge the best cyclists on the planet with the toughest mountain terrain,” said Jenn Andrs, executive director of the Tour of Utah, a division of Miller Sports Properties. “The race route gives us an opportunity to showcase the diverse beauty of northern Utah and a portion of Idaho for the first time, making it a win-win scenario for new communities and cycling fans.”

Stage 1: Logan to Logan, 215.5km

The first stage is the longest opening day in Tour of Utah history. The route will take riders from downtown Logan through Logan Canyon and Garden City, then navigate 72km around Bear Lake. The race will roll through Idaho for the first time when it goes around the north side of Bear Lake.

The peloton will return through Garden City and Logan Canyon before two circuits in downtown Logan. Spectators in downtown Logan can watch the Women’s Edition: Criterium Classic the same day, which uses the same start/finish area as the men.

The Tour of Utah will visit Tremonton for the first time for the start of stage 2. The peloton will enjoy the wide, rural roads of Box Elder County, rolling along the Wasatch Front through Honeyville, Brigham City, Perry and Willard, the race will then enter Weber County and the city of Ogden.

The route heads west through Ogden Canyon and around Pineview Reservoir before returning to Ogden via the North Ogden Divide. The stage will conclude with three laps of a 3.6km circuit that finishes on Historic 25th Street across from Ogden Municipal Gardens. It is the first time the Tour of Utah has returned to Ogden for a stage finish since 2012.

Stage 3: Antelope Island State Park to Bountiful, 178km

The tour visits Davis County for the first time during stage 3, including a start at Antelope Island State Park. The largest island in the Great Salt Lake, riders will enjoy 6.4km on the island before crossing the 11km causeway to the mainland, leaving behind a large wildlife population of antelope, bighorn sheep and more than 600 free-roaming American bison.

Racers will encounter familiar roads up the North Ogden Divide and the Eden Valley from the day before, but this time in a clockwise direction. After racing around Pineview Reservoir, the race will head up Trapper’s Loop in the shadow of Snowbasin Resort, a previous venue for the Tour of Utah (2013) and Olympic Winter Games (2002).

The race will re-enter Davis County and Bountiful for two 14.5km circuits, which include a difficult climb on 400 North along the Bountiful Bench.

Stage 4: Soldier Hollow to Soldier Hollow, 207.1km

Stage 4 has a new start/finish at Soldier Hollow in the Heber Valley, site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games biathlon and Nordic events. The race will head up Daniels Canyon past Strawberry Reservoir and along the undulating terrain in Duchesne County for the first time.

Heading through the Uinta National Forest, racers will make an inaugural climb up Wolf Creek Pass, descending into Woodland on the way through Midway to Soldier Hollow, which sits in Wasatch Mountain State Park. A long, uphill finish will give the climbers a chance to shine and establish the general classification pecking order.

Stage 5: Salt Lake City downtown circuit, 89km

Stage 5 on Friday, August 7, revives the popular Salt Lake City circuit, which returns from 2013 with a twist. Starting on the north side of the Utah State Capital, the race will follow the traditional route, passing City Creek Canyon, the Avenues neighborhood and the University of Utah.

The peloton will descend down South Temple and turn right on the steep climb up State Street, then make a new turn on North Temple to 200 West, passing through the Marmalade and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. Things get interesting as the race ascends 20 percent grades up Wall Street and Zane Avenue to the hilltop finish at the Utah Capitol. The stage will complete seven laps of this circuit.

Stage 6: Salt Lake City to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, 181.5km

The traditional Queen Stage with its finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort and nerly 4,000 metres of climbing returns for 2015 with some small changes. The 181.5km journey begins at a new start location in front of the historic Rio Grande Depot in downtown Salt Lake City.

Riders will roll past Pioneer Park to Emigration Canyon, continuing through Morgan and Summit counties on the way to Park City and the brutal climb to Guardsman Pass, followed by the fast descent of Big Cottonwood
Canyon to Wasatch Boulevard.

For a ninth year, and the second consecutive year starting in Salt Lake City, the Queen Stage will finish with the legendary 10km climb of Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird.

Stage 7: Park City to Park City, 133.5km

The stage 7 finale travereses the same course that has been used since 2013. The stage will once again start and finish on Main Street in Park City and include Empire Pass. This 10km climb has a gradient that averages 10 percent, with pitches greater than 20 percent.

Last year saw former world champion and Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (Australia) of BMC Racing Team use his superior descending skills to catch and pass the lead group on the Mine Road, with speeds exceeding 90 kilometres per hour, to take his second stage win of the week. American Tom Danielson of Cannondale-Garmin took the overall title for a second consecutive year.

Live TV Coverage

Start times for the first five stages have been modified to accommodate live national television broadcasts on FOX Sports Network (FSN). Stage 1 to Stage 4 will be covered live from 1-3 p.m. MT. The majority of Stage 5 will be featured in a 5-7 p.m. MT time slot for live coverage.

FSN will broadcast the final two hours of Stage 6 and Stage 7 in the traditional 2-4 p.m. MT time slot across the U.S. FSN will also broadcast evening highlight shows, and TourTracker will provide live race coverage via web cast and mobile applications all week. 

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