Stage announcements were made Tuesday for the 2014 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, and the high-profile race will have some notable firsts this year, with the inclusion of the Mirror Lake Highway.
The race will take place Monday, Aug. 4, to Sunday, Aug. 10, for a total of seven days. Course Director Todd Hageman said that, in recent years, the race had been only six days. Although the stage start and finish points were announced, the actual race course will not be announced until May.
The Tour's opening event will take place the weekend before the race in Cedar City, which will also serve as the start and finish of Stage One, Hageman said.
Stages Two through Seven will include:
Hageman noted that this year's Tour will be the first to venture outside of Utah. He said using the Mirror Lake Highway through the Uinta Mountains was a route the Tour has considered using in the past but never has.
"Last year, a representative of the Forest Service reached out to us in regard to the Mirror Lake Highway. That's what got the ball rolling," Hageman said.
The Tour looks at two factors when considering stage venues: the competition level of the course and the distances between host stages, Hageman said.
"When we were looking at coming up to Northern Utah after our first three stages, we thought there were some beautiful roads and places we haven't been before," Hageman said.
Kamas was not the only town the Tour approached for the Stage Five venue. Hageman said he also spoke with Heber City, Midway and Coalville about hosting stages. The route on Mirror Lake Highway from Evanston to Bald Mountain Pass features an elevation gain of 3,000 feet, with a quick 4,300 foot descent leading to Kamas.
"It's exciting to bring professional bike racing to the eastern side of Summit County," Hageman said.
This year will also mark the 10th anniversary of the Tour of Utah, which is the reason for the expanded seven-day race as well as the addition of several community festivals.
With Kamas set to be a Tour stage stop, Hageman said they will be in need of many volunteers to help with the race. He said Kamas will need volunteers from all over Summit County to make the Tour successful.
For more information on the 2014 Tour of Utah, visit tourofutah.com. The Tour is also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.