Organizers of the 2014 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah have revealed the detailed race route that will go the distance as the longest professional cycling stage race in North America this year with 753.8 miles and 57,863 feet of vertical gain in seven days of racing. A world-class 16-team field of riders will be tested by increases of 30 percent in climbing terrain and 32 percent in mileage on Aug. 4-10 in the tour's 10th anniversary.
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will begin in southern Utah for a second consecutive year and roll north through 12 host cities and venues in Utah and Wyoming. This year's Tour of Utah will feature 17 Ski Utah King of the Mountain climbs and 14 Utah Sports Commission Sprint lines. Along with two mountaintop finishes this year (stages 4 and 6), the tour route will pass or finish near seven ski resorts, from Brian Head in the south to the new finish at Powder Mountain in the north. At 10,759 feet above sea level, Bald Mountain Pass on Stage 5 presented by Subaru will be the highest point ever crossed by the peloton at the Tour of Utah.
The grand finale on Aug. 10 will be far from a processional victory lap for the overall winner leader's jersey, which could be decided on the final KOM over Empire Pass into downtown Park City. This 78-mile stage, which was introduced in 2013, will roll out of Park City into rural, eastern Summit County. Through Wolf Creek Ranches, racers will face a short but punishing climb with pitches of close to 20-percent gradient. In Wasatch County, the race continues through the towns of Heber City and Midway. It is just outside of Midway where the racers are faced with the toughest challenge of the seven-day event, the climb up Empire Pass. In just three years, Empire Pass has become legendary for its average gradient of 10 percent and sections that exceed 20 percent. Large crowds are expected to return for the overall finish on lower Main Street in historic Park City.
"I'd say Empire Pass is probably my favorite climb in the entire world," said 2013 Tour of Utah Champion Tom Danielson, an American climber who rides for Team Garmin-Sharp. "It's really, really steep, so you are using arms, and that takes a lot of oxygen out of your body that you have to use for your legs. So it really puts a strain on your lungs and makes it a unique climb."
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah was elevated in 2011 by the Union Cycliste International, the global governing body of the sport of cycling, to a 2.1-rated stage race. Sanctioned by both USA Cycling and the UCI, the Tour of Utah continues as one of the top four UCI America Tour events covering a full week of racing in North America this year. Host venues for 2014 are Cedar City, Panguitch, Torrey, Lehi, Miller Motorsports Park, Ogden, Powder Mountain, Evanston (Wyoming), Kamas, Salt Lake City, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, and Park City.
"This event continues to raise the bar as America's Toughest Stage Race," said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. "With stage three returning to Miller Motorsports Park, one of Utah's many world-class venues will be highlighted and showcased around the world."
Corporate partners have also been announced for all seven stages of the Tour of Utah. Detailed maps and videos for race week are now available at the official web site, www.tourofutah.com .
The Utah Sports Commission, which is a founding partner of the Tour, is the presenting sponsor for Stage 3 and all 14 sprint lines along the course. The additional stages in the Tour of Utah are presented by Zions Bank, iON Camera, Workers Compensation Fund, Subaru, University of Utah Health Care, and VLCM and Barracuda Networks. The Ski Utah King of the Mountain (KOM) climbs are sponsored by the Utah Office of Tourism.
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues to be free to all spectators. More information about the Tour of Utah and its partners can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com , as well as social channels Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (thetourofutah), Instagram (thetourofutah) and YouTube (2014 Tour of Utah).