Fans lined up hours prior to the sixth and final Stage of the Tour of Utah
While walking down Main Street early Sunday afternoon, one couldn’t help but notice the electric atmosphere. The street was completely blocked off, making way for some of the best cyclists in the world to compete in the sixth and final stage of the Tour of Utah.
Fans began arriving hours prior to the start of race time, setting up chairs and blocking off pristine spots to view the final stage as it would both begin and end at the top of Main Street. People showing up an hour before the start of Stage 6 were left standing 2-3 people deep behind the metal barriers blocking off the course.
“This is a vibrant and active community that truly appreciates cycling, so obviously it’s a draw and we aren’t going to avoid Park City,” said Jeff Corbett, course director for the Tour of Utah. “The race has always been extremely well supported there so we like to come back to places where we are supported and welcome.”
Businesses along Main Street were swamped with customers, as wait times for restaurants were sometimes upward of an hour. Red Banjo Pizza Parlour was one of the more popular spots thanks to its second level dining area, allowing customers a perfect view of the final push of the race.
With the race taking place on at Main Street, vendors were vendors were given the opportunity to embrace the local and cycling community. From games for kids to play, apparel tents, health benefit tents and food stations, the Tour of Utah went all out for the final stage.
“Park City has all of the elements to make for a great stage race and that’s why the Tour of Utah has come back year after year,” said Frank Zang, vice president of communications at Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. “The atmosphere is really hard to replicate because of the challenging terrain, the beauty of the area and most importantly, the fans that line the streets. All of that is what makes Park City such a special finish.”
One of the cooler aspects of the Tour of Utah is the “sprint to the finish bike race.” Taking place after the race began, kids, aged 5-12, are given the opportunity to race across the finish line in front of the cheering crowd.
Fans were also given the opportunity to meet the racers prior to the start of each stage. “Autograph Alley” was designed for fans to line up and interact with the athletes as they made their way to the sign-in stage every day, making for a chaotic scene, as kids would jump with joy when in the presence of their favorite riders.
“Tradition is a part of the Tour of Utah and coming back to Park City is obviously a big part of that,” Zang said. “We want to showcase the state of Utah through the eyes of sport and the unique opportunity to take world-class cycling to Park City.”
As the cyclists climbed up Main Street towards the finish line, they were greeted with chalk renderings, giving support and encouragement to all the riders.
When you combine the love of cycling with the charm of Main Street, it’s no wonder Park City has become the annual finishing point for the Tour of Utah, breaking tradition of typically changing up the courses year to year.
“It’s awesome to have so many cycling enthusiasts in Summit County who know a lot about the sport,” Zang said. “When I’m rolling in for final stage and the roads are lined with recreational riders, it’s all part of the success formula that makes this such a perfect place to have as a final stage for the Tour of Utah.”
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