Past winners and Utahns will compete at this year’s Tour of Utah
One of the premiere bike races to take place in North America returns to Park City this weekend when the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah’s final two stages take place on Saturday and Sunday.
A total of 117 cyclists will ride a combined 477 miles over seven days in order to be crowned as the 2019 champion. In what is commonly known as “America’s toughest stage race,” bikers will climb a total of 37,882 feet total.
“Certainly there’s multiple ways to look at the Tour of Utah as far as longevity or world ranking,” said Jeff Corbett, the race’s course director. “Tour of California is higher ranked, but certainly Utah is easily the second biggest stage race in the Western Hemisphere. … There’s nothing else that’s as well ranked and attended by both fans and riders competing.”
This year’s Tour of Utah began on Monday with the prologue stage at Snowbird Resort and ends the following Sunday in downtown Park City.
Seventeen teams are competing, including EF Education First, which features two past Tour of Utah champions in Joe Dombrowski (USA) and Lachlan Morton (AUS) as well as current US Pro road race champion Alex Howes.
Of the cyclists competing, 22 of them have national championships in their proven disciplines while 17 of them have competed in one of the “Grand Tours” of professional cycling like the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a España.
Racing for team Trek-Segafredo in the competition is Giulio Ciccone, 24, of Italy. He’s had a good season thus far, taking home the Stage 16 victory and claiming the King of the Mountain classification title in this year’s Giro d’Italia. He was also the holder of the famed yellow jersey at the Tour de France for two days earlier.
For fans looking for a little local flavor, two Utahns will compete in this year’s competition. Parkite Tanner Putt will be competing in the Tour of Utah for a fifth time, this time under new team Arapahoe l Hincapie. After taking a two-year break, Putt is back and looking to improve on his a top-10 finish in Stage 1 in 2016.
His teammate, Taylor “TJ” Eisenhart of Lehi, is competing in the event for the fourth time. His best finish in the Tour of Utah was seventh overall in 2016, but he finished 20th in the general classification category last year.
This year, the Tour of Utah will be broadcast on FOX Sports’ networks, which includes FS2 and FSN regional channels airing a total of 21 hours of programming.
Live race coverage of Stage Four in Salt Lake City will be broadcast nationally Friday on FS2. The rest of the coverage will air on tape delay from 5-7 p.m. daily featuring the broadcast team of Tour of Utah veterans Steve Brown, Todd Gogulski, Chad Andrews and Kristen Kenney.
“This is the only stage race in America that’s covered from start to finish live, whether it be a live webcast or on TV,” said Tour of Utah spokesperson Jackie Tyson. “People all over world will get to see the beautiful scenery, so they then think to come in the summer and fall instead of believing Park City is just for skiing.”
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Over the last 12 years, the National Ability Center has funded organized and hosted the Summit Challenge, a bike ride for participants of all abilities.