The Tour of Utah is one of only five UCI-sanctioned, multi-stage, North American pro cycling events in 2013 attracting worldwide attention as the top international 6-day cycling event following the Tour de France. The route follows the lush forests and red rock spires in the south, which was its first venture into southern Utah, through the urban corridor and on to the Rocky Mountains and the Wasatch Range in the north.
Good preview of the race
What has become “America’s toughest stage race” for the pros has also become one of the most scenic and entertaining sporting events for spectators in America.
To give it its proper name, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah began in 2004, but back then it was known as the Thanksgiving Point Stage Race and Cycling Festival. In the beginning the challenging route included 9,000 ft of climbing but that has grown to include more than 40,000 vertical feet. In 2006 the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies became the title sponsor and the name was changed to reflect that and the race became a 6-day event.
Its status was again elevated in 2011 when it became a part of the UCI America Tour. A total of 128 cyclists representing 16 professional teams from around the world are invited to take part in the race each August. The line-up reflects well known competitors who will, in many cases (if not all), have just completed the Tour de France. This race has definitely “arrived” on the world stage. It’s scenic route makes spectacular viewing for spectators. So much so that in 2012 the out-of-state spectators contributed US$14 million in direct economic impact to the State of Utah.
It was Colorado veteran and Team Garmin-Sharp’s Tom Danielson who claimed the overall prize at the 2013 event which ended yesterday. He battled his way up the infamous 10km Empire Pass climb into a 3-way horse race with Paco Mancebo of 5-Hour ENERGY and Janier Acevedo of the Jamis-Hagens Berman squad. The trio then plummeted down a nearly 12 percent final descent, where speeds reached upwards of 65 mph until turning up lower Main Street which was packed with thousands of cheering fans. Mancebo and Acevedo took stage honors, but Danielson took the big prize.
“I owed it to myself to try to be that person that I want to be, and just take the bulls by the horn and do it,” Danielson said about his race tactics today when he finished third on Stage Six presented by VLCM and Barracuda Networks. “I’m really proud, I dedicate that win to my teammates who have basically stuck with me the last years, tried to help me do that many times and I didn’t do it so I’m very happy to finally do it.”
Of the 122 professional cyclists that began the week in Brian Head on August 6, 91 completed the 586-mile stage race yesterday.
The Subaru Best Young Rider jersey was won by Garmin-Sharp’s Lachlan Morton (Australia).
“It’s been a really exciting race. The race just keeps getting better every year,” Steve Miller, President of Miller Sports Properties, said. “Nobody can win on day one, nobody can win it on day two. They have to race all week long to win the Tour of Utah, so they have to race hard through all six stages. You can have a great day and you can win a stage, but that’s not going to win the race for you. This year, I think everything came together in terms of community support going down South was a huge success for us.”
Feature photo courtesy of Tour of Utah