The 14th annual Tour of Utah bike race starts on Monday August 6th with the final two stages concluding in Summit County on August 11th and 12th
The Tour of Utah starts in St. George, and features stages in Cedar City, Payson, Antelope Island and downtown Salt Lake City. The final two stages take place in Summit County. Tour of Utah managing director John Kimball describes the final two stages.
“Starting at the Canyons for the first time. We’ll start our stage and we’ll go up and out through Kamas and through the Francis area up and over Guardsmen and down Big Cottonwood canyon finishing at Snowbird.” Kimball continued, “We’re so excited to be back in Park City with a Main Street start and finish. Going out again through the Kamas area coming back up over the Empire pass and then finishing on beautiful Main Street in Park City.”
This is the 14th edition of the Tour of Utah, cyclists will race 548 miles, with 43,780 vertical feet of climbing.
“We’ve got one Tour De France racer who’s going to be participating. We have two past Tour of Utah champions coming back. 33 riders with Grand Tour experience, 25 national champions. We have 121 athletes from 20 countries representing 17 teams.”
Utah residents can look to cheer for TJ Eisenhart, who is the only race from Utah to ride in the tour. Kimball says the tour is looking forward to continually using Park City as the finish line for the race. Last year the tour conflicted with the Kimball Arts Festival. Tour Director John Kimball explains why.
“We’re governed by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) which kind of tells us the dates that we can run the race. Sometimes they’ll move that up. It’s really dependent on the Olympics, also on the World Cup Soccer, where they might have conflicts with other big world tour races. They’ll give us some options of weeks that will work and sometimes they conflict.” Kimball said, “It looks like for the next couple of years it won’t conflict. We’re hoping to give us a little bit of a breather from the Tour De France so that we can hopefully pull from those teams. And then also be sensitive to some of the other world tour races that happen that butt up against our race as well. So it’s kind of a delicate calendar and we have to listen to what they say the weeks that we can have based on other races happening around the world.”
The tour is free to the public. KPCW asked Kimball where the best places are to watch the race.
“The fact that they’ve just re-done that Empire Pass and that pavement. That being such an amazing climb that’s one of my favorite places to watch the race, to see them come up and over Empire. Anywhere down coming through Deer Valley, through the Kamas area. What’s so amazing about this race is it’s free to the public. If you download the app Tour Tracker it’ll follow the racers and it’ll tell you exactly where they are. You can walk right out, or walk a block away from your home, and watch the racers come through.” Kimball continued, “Main Street to me is just such a fabulous place to watch the race. There’s so much going on with kid races, and face painting and all the fun stuff that we do there. We certainly encourage you to come out and support all the shops on Main Street make it a day. It’s just a fabulous place to watch.”
Between, the app and the website the race will have 21 hours of coverage per day. Kimball also says you can watch Fox Sports network. The race is also broadcast on Eurosport, which takes the race to over four million homes in Europe and Asia.
“The Miller family really uses this as a post card. We like to bring you to amazing places in Utah like Park City. (…) This is seen in over 150 countries around the world that will watch our race and go online. It’s just an opportunity, it brings incredible economic impact into the state.”