Tour of Utah President Steve Miller, left, presents Park City mayor Jack Thomas with a plaque at the seventh stage of the 2014 Tour of Utah, which began
Tour of Utah President Steve Miller, left, presents Park City mayor Jack Thomas with a plaque at the seventh stage of the 2014 Tour of Utah, which began and ended on Park City s Main Street. (Christopher Reeves/Park Record)

The Tour of Utah turned 10 years old this year, and what a 10 years it's been.

The race began in 2004, but wasn't held in 2007 due to a lack of sponsorship. However, since 2008, it has been steadily growing.

Now nicknamed "America's Toughest Stage Race," the Tour of Utah draws many of the world's top cycling teams to the state for a week of racing.

Tour President Steve Miller said he hopes to continue drawing even more of the world's top cyclists to Utah in the future.

"Clearly, when you put events on, you want to have them be bigger than not," he said. "You don't want to put on a big bike race and then have nobody show up, whether it's a rider or a fan.

"We'd like to add another Pro Tour team or two. We'd like to elevate the competition. This year was at an all-time high in terms of competitiveness."

Another item on Miller's checklist is switching up some of the stage locations in the future.

"I think it's safe to say that we'll visit some parts of Utah we haven't visited before," Miller said. "Our goal is to have it be a tour of Utah and we've got some work to do."

But if the Tour wants to expand to more parts of Utah, does that mean it will have to add even more stages? Not necessarily, Miller explains.

"We certainly won't expand the race," he said. "We've got our hands full with seven days of racing."

Cadel Evans, a cyclist for the BMC Racing Team who won Stages 6 and 7 of this year's Tour, agrees that the race length is hard enough as is.


Advertisement

"I don't know if you want to make it any harder if you want more people to come back," he said after winning Stage 7 on Sunday in Park City. "I would say the quality of the racing and the motivation of the field is what was really hard. It's been really hard, competitive racing."

Could the Tour involve more states than just Utah? It crossed Utah borders for the first time this year, with Stage 5 beginning in Evanston, Wyoming. Miller said he and the race directors aren't opposed to further expansion in that regard, either.

"That was really exciting," he said of the Evanston to Kamas stage. "We'd always had the Mirror Lake Highway on the drawing board because it's such a scenic, beautiful highway.

"It really dawned on us one day in a brainstorming meeting that it's not unprecedented to start a stage of a bike race outside the borders of a state they do it in the Tour de France all the time. We figured we'd follow that model and it turned out to be quite fun."

So, what does the future hold for the Tour of Utah? Could expansion into St. George or Moab or other parts of southern Utah be in the works? Miller doesn't know for sure yet, but he knows that some of the top cyclists in the world will be racing whatever course he and the other race executives design from Aug. 3-9, 2015.

For more information on the Tour of Utah and its history, visit www.tourofutah.com .