Teams confirmed for Tour of Utah
Three new men’s teams and seven women’s teams have accepted invitations to compete in Tour of Utah races this August. For the 2015 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Aug. 3-9, the final field of 16 teams has been filled for the internationally sanctioned 2.HC men’s stage race. It will mark inaugural appearances in Utah for Airgas-Safeway Cycling of the United States, Bardiani-CSF of Italy and Australia’s Team Budget Forklifts. On the women’s side, a final field of 18 professional and elite teams has been confirmed for the two-day Women’s Edition: Criterium Classic on Aug. 3-4.
The men’s peloton will include five teams with experience in the top three global stage races sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), considered the Grand Tours — Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España. This year four of these teams will compete July 4-26 at the Tour de France — BMC Racing Team, Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling, Team MTN-Qhubeka and Trek Factory Racing. The 16 teams competing in August are registered in five different countries, representing five continents.
For the Women’s Edition: Criterium Classic, a UCI team from Argentina, Itaú Shimano Ladies Power Team, has bolstered the final field to include five Women’s Elite UCI teams. In addition, the women’s field will include nine teams currently rated in the Top 10 of the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) rankings. The omnium-style competition, sanctioned by USA Cycling as part of the NCC, will take place in Logan, Utah, on Aug. 3 and Ogden, Utah, on Aug. 4.
"We have so many great teams at this year’s Tour of Utah, and at the Criterium Classic. With the World Championships for road cycling being held in Richmond, Virginia, just a month after Utah, we expect these teams to bring top contenders for race week. Spectators will be treated to compelling attacks and race action across northern Utah at all seven stages," said Jenn Andrs, executive director of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, a division of Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment.
Among the three new teams announced for the men’s field, Airgas-Safeway features American strongman Chris Horner. The 43-year-old has participated in all three Grand Tours, including the Tour de France six times, and won the 2013 Vuelta a España. He is a two-time runner-up on G.C. at the Tour of Utah, finishing behind two-time champion Tom Danielson of Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling in 2013 and 2014. Team Budget Forklifts features New Zealand climber Michael Torckler, who captured the Ski Utah KOM jersey for Bissell Pro Cycling at the 2013 Tour of Utah. Bardiani-CSF features Italian Stefano Pirazzi, who captured the KOM title at the 2013 Giro d’Italia and won a stage in the 2014 Giro.
This year’s Tour of Utah will continue as the first internationally sanctioned cycling competition in North America for men following the Tour de France. The men’s field of 16 professional teams will compete over 712 miles and 51,442 feet of elevation gain, solidifying "America’s Toughest Stage Race" as the most challenging UCI 2.HC race in North America.
The final rosters for both men’s and women’s teams will be announced Aug. 1, prior to race week. Read details about the professional teams competing in the 11th edition of the Tour of Utah at the official web site — http://www.tourofutah.com. More information about the Tour can be found by visiting social channels Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (@tourofutah #TOU15, #TOUWE15), Instagram (thetourofutah) and YouTube (2014 Tour of Utah).
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