Summit County stage is set for Tour of Utah
August 2, 2016
A field of nearly 130 professional cyclists representing more than 30 countries is expected to roll through Summit County this weekend for the annual Tour of Utah international cycling event.
The race will follow a route similar to last year's as it snakes through the countryside of the eastern part of the county into Park City. However, it now includes a seven-mile stretch along Old Lincoln Highway through Wanship to access Brown's Canyon Road.
"It is pretty much the same, except for that piece on West Hoytsville Road and that was more just to get off that main artery. Plus, it's a little more scenic," said Todd Hageman, technical director for the Tour of Utah. "It makes it a little more interesting from a race perspective as well as from a traffic management perspective. It's puts a little less impact on travelers in Summit County."
The event draws thousands of spectators and several rolling road closures are expected throughout the area on Saturday and Sunday. Most of the spectators will be concentrated near Guardsman Pass on Saturday and near Main Street on Sunday, Hageman said.
The Utah Highway Patrol will lead curb-to-curb rolling road closures throughout the race. Any traffic heading toward the race will be escorted to the side of the road. A caravan of about 100 support vehicles, including emergency vehicles carrying medical personnel, will accompany the cyclists.
Drivers are not allowed to pass the cyclists or any support vehicles, according to race information. Traffic can follow behind the cyclists, but will be required to travel at the same speed as the race, which averages 22 to 28 miles per hour.
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Lt. Harley Watkins, with the Utah Highway Patrol, said he anticipates that the traffic impact will be minimal this year. He said drivers shouldn't expect the closures to last more than 10 minutes.
"We do ask that drivers remember that there is a three-foot rule we have to give them (the cyclists) and they are allowed to take the entire lane of travel," Watkins said. "It shouldn't be a major traffic impact and we don't anticipate any problems from it because most of the Park City people enjoy seeing the riders. We just ask that they are as patient as possible."
Watkins said he suspects the longest delays to take place along State Road 224 on Saturday as the race enters town. According to information provided by the Tour of Utah, the following roads will be affected during the race:
Saturday, Aug. 6, Stage 6 of the Tour of Utah:
- Cyclists will enter downtown Henefer between 12:15 p.m. and 1 p.m. The race will follow Main Street to South Echo Road and Old Highway 30 toward Coalville.
- Once the race passes through Coalville between 12:45 p.m. and 1:15 p.m., it will turn onto Hobson Lane and continue on West Hoytsville Road into Wanship for seven miles.
- Delays should be expected on State Road 32 between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.
- The race will use State Road 248, Bonanza Drive and State Road 224 to access Deer Valley Drive and Marsac Avenue before climbing over Guardsman Pass. Rolling traffic closures will be in place between 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 7, Stage 7 of the Tour of Utah:
- Two ceremonial laps will kick off the race at around 12:15 p.m. in the Old Town area of Park City. Temporary road closures will impact Main Street, Deer Valley Drive, Swede Alley and Heber Avenue.
- The race will use State Road 32/Browns Canyon Road to access Kamas between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- Cyclists will use State Road 35 to access Ranch Road and the Wolf Creek Ranches between 1:45 p.m. and 2:25 p.m. before entering Heber City.
- The race will use Homestead Road, Warm Springs Drive and Pine Canyon Road to access State Road 224/Pine Canyon Road to climb Empire Pass. Delays should be expected between 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Once over Empire Pass, the race will use State Road 224 and Marsac Avenue to reach the finish line on Upper Main. Delays from Montage Resort to the Deer Valley Drive will take place between 3:10 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Hageman, who lives in Park City, participated in the first several races that were held after the tour's inception. He said it has been remarkable to watch the race evolve from "a bunch of local amateurs beating ourselves up over three days to where it is now." Of the 16 teams competing, six have competed in the Tour De France and Giro d'Italia.
"We are now attracting the best teams internationally," Hageman said. "We look to the riders that have ridden and looking back they are truly the best riders in the world. It has been really interesting exciting to see because it is a day and night difference between where it is now and where it was in early 2000."
For more information about the route for the Tour of Utah, go to https://www.tourofutah.com/stages
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