Tour of Utah: the peloton pedals toward a big finish in Park City |

Tour of Utah: the peloton pedals toward a big finish in Park City

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Parkites are expected to parade en masse to see the peloton this weekend.

The Tour of Utah bicycle race riders will spend much of Saturday and Sunday in Summit County, capped by a celebration on Sunday that is anticipated to be one of the largest crowds on Main Street this summer.

A year after the Tour of Utah proved the popularity of a bicycle racing in the state, the organizers have again selected Park City as one of the places to be featured on the route. The six-day race, taking riders from Southern Utah to the Wasatch Mountains, will end in Park City on Sunday.

If the weather is good that day, City Hall anticipates a crowd that could reach to between 10,000 and 15,000. The numbers would be similar to those in Park City for last year’s Tour of Utah, said Heinrich Deters, a City Hall official who is assisting with logistical matters.

"It’s going to be busy. There’s going to be a lot going on," Deters said, adding, "That’s the feel of an international cycling event, the Tour de France. The streets are packed, the racers are coming through."

The Sunday stage covers 78 miles and gains 7,633 feet in elevation. The organizers say it should take the riders three hours and 30 minutes to finish. The stage begins and ends on Main Street. It will include two ceremonial laps on Main Street, Deer Valley Drive, Heber Avenue and 9th Street before the riders head out of Park City. The two laps start at noon. The sections of road will be closed to vehicles from 11:50 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

There will be temporary street closures in Park City on Kearns Boulevard, Deer Valley Drive and Marsac Avenue on Saturday as the riders pass. They are possible between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

On Sunday, meanwhile, a more involved closure is planned. Marsac Avenue from Empire Pass down to Deer Valley Drive between the Old Town roundabout and 9th Street will be shut to traffic between approximately 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Drivers heading to or from upper Deer Valley must use Aerie Drive to Mellow Mountain Road and then to Deer Valley Drive to reach all points in Deer Valley.

The end of the race on Sunday will feature a high-speed descent from Empire Pass to Old Town on Marsac Avenue, a change from last year’s descent on Royal Street. Deters said the cyclists could reach speeds of 60 mph descending Marsac Avenue.

Park City officials encourage spectators on Sunday to park at Park City High School. A free shuttle will operate between the high school and the Old Town transit center from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. There will be a limited amount of parking just off of Main Street. Parking in most of the China Bridge garage will cost $10, and the garage must be accessed from Marsac Avenue. The parking spots on Swede Alley will be set aside for Tour of Utah teams and other credential holders.

The Sunday stage of the Tour of Utah will coincide with the Park Silly Sunday Market. The Silly Market will be moved to the upper section of Main Street from its traditional location downhill from Heber Avenue. The Tour of Utah will organize an expo featuring setups by sponsors on Main Street between Heber Avenue and 5th Street.

Lower Main Street will close to traffic at 3 a.m. on Sunday while the upper section of the street closes to traffic at 6 a.m. Main Street is scheduled to reopen to traffic at approximately 6:30 p.m.

The Tour of Utah competitors on Sunday will ride a course that takes them out of Park City on S.R. 248, onto Brown’s Canyon Road, through Peoa, onto Kamas, into Wasatch County, through Heber and Midway before climbing toward Guardsman Pass and then into Park City.

The Saturday leg will travel through the East Side communities of Peoa, Coalville, Echo, Hoytsville, Wanship and Henefer. The riders on Saturday will also spend time in the Park City area, with a route that includes Kearns Boulevard, Bonanza Drive, Deer Valley Drive and Marsac Avenue before they head to Big Cottonwood Canyon and then Little Cottonwood Canyon. Organizers say there will be short or moving traffic closures on the Saturday route.

Information and maps are available on the Tour of Utah website, City Hall has posted information on its website as well, http://www.parkcityorg . Select the link to ‘2013 Tour of Utah Event, Road Closure and Parking Info’ under the Events section of the front page of the site.

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