SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (April 11, 2012) – The first major, weeklong stage race to challenge the top international cycling teams after this summer’s Tour de France and Olympic Games will be in the United States. Eight professional teams confirmed participation today in the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, August 7-12, 2012. Five of these squads are UCI ProTeams, including the No.3 ranked team on the UCI WorldTour, Liquigas-Cannondale of Italy.
This announcement confirms the participation of half of the teams which will race at “America’s Toughest Stage RaceTM”. The full field of 16 teams will be confirmed by May.
UCI ProTeams Confirmed: (world rankings as of April 8, 2012)
- Liquigas-Cannondale (ITA), No. 3 on UCI WorldTour
- RadioShack-Nissan-Trek (LUX), No. 6 on UCI WorldTour
- BMC Racing Team (USA), No.7 on UCI WorldTour
- Rabobank Cycling Team (NED), No. 11 on UCI WorldTour
- Garmin-Barracuda (USA), No. 15 on UCI WorldTour
UCI Pro Continental Team (ranking as of March 25, 2012)
- Team Argos-Shimano (NED), No. 8 on UCI Europe Tour Ranking
UCI Continental Teams, America Tour Confirmed (rankings as of March 25, 2012):
- EPM-UNE (COL), No.6 on UCI America Tour
- Competitive Cyclist Racing Team (USA), No. 13 on UCI America Tour
The Tour of Utah was elevated last year by the international governing body of the sport of cycling, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), to a 2.1-rated stage race. It continues as one of the top four UCI stage races in North America this year. And the Tour of Utah will be the first weeklong UCI stage race for athletes in North America following the Tour de France and the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“We now have international teams requesting invitations to compete in Utah, and this is great for our fans and our sponsors. The level of competition improves each year, making the Tour of Utah a true showcase for international cycling here in the United States,” said Steve Miller, president of the Tour of Utah.
[For a gallery of photos from the 2011 Tour of Utah, visit:
[For articles on the Tour of Utah see http://www.cyclingutah.com/articles-about-tour-of-utah/ ]
[For full coverage of the 2011 Tour of Utah, see Cycling Utah’s Fall Winter 2011 Issue is Now Available! » ]
Liquigas-Cannondale (Italy) returns for an eighth year of racing on the UCI WorldTour and returns for a second year to the Tour of Utah. In its 2011 campaign, the Italian team amassed 30 overall victories, including 12 UCI World Tour wins. Team leaders include sprinter Peter Sagan (SVK), and former Grand Tour champions Ivan Basso (ITA) and Vincenzo Nibali (ITA). Young standouts include rising star Elia Viviani of Italy and two Americans, Ted King and Tim Duggan. Duggan finished seventh overall at the 2011 Tour of Utah. Viviani won two stages at the 2011 USA Cycling Pro Challenge and has five wins already in 2012.
Team RadioShack-Nissan Trek (Luxembourg) comes to the peloton after a merger of the RadioShack and Leopard-Trek squads. Although the team will compete in the 2012 Tour of Utah as a combined squad for the first time, RadioShack makes its third appearance. In racing action last year, RadioShack notched 28 wins, while Leopard-Trek garnered more than 25. This year’s roster includes Grand Tour and Classics standouts Andy Schleck (LUX), Fränk Schleck (LUX), Fabian Cancellara (SUI), Andreas Kloden (GER), Chris Horner (USA), and Jens Voigt (GER). In early season 2012 racing, the team took first overall in the team classifications of both the Tour Down Under and Tour of Oman, while Horner claimed second place on G.C. at the seven-day Italian stage race, Tirreno-Adriatico.
BMC Racing Team (U.S.A.) returns in 2012 for its fourth Tour of Utah. The 2011 season was its first as a UCI ProTour squad and the U.S.-registered team chalked up 13 victories. The team’s roster includes 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (AUS), former world road champions Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Ballan, as well as three-time U.S. national road champion George Hincapie and 2010 U.S. national time trial champion Taylor Phinney. Earlier this year at Paris-Nice, American Tejay van Garderen won the best young rider classification. In 2011, he won the individual time trial at the Tour of Utah. This season marks Hincapie’s 19th year in the pro peloton, and he is expected to ride a record-setting 17th Tour de France in July.
Rabobank Cycling Team (Netherlands) makes its Tour of Utah debut in 2012. The Dutch squad notched 24 victories in 2011, including stage wins at each of the three Grand Tours. The team includes 2011 Spanish National Champion Luis León Sánchez, former World Cyclocross Champion Lars Boom (NED), and up-and-comer Robert Gesink (NED). New to the team for 2012 is sprinter Mark Renshaw (AUS), who came over from the now-defunct HTC-Highroad team. Sanchez started out the early 2012 season with a stage win at Paris-Nice.
Garmin-Barracuda (U.S.A.), racing last year as Garmin-Cervélo, comes to the Tour of Utah with a full squad for a second year. In 2011, the team took 18 UCI WorldTour wins, including the prestigious Team Time Trial and the overall team designation at the 2011 Tour de France. On U.S. soil, Garmin-Barracuda clinched the overall team classification at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Athletes from 15 countries make up the squad including includes Dutch strongman Thomas Dekker and a number of American standouts, including Christian Vande Velde, Tyler Farrar, Tom Danielson and Utah’s own Dave Zabriskie. Danielson and Vande Velde, finished fifth and sixth, respectively, overall at the 2011 Tour of Utah. This year, Zabriskie won the time trial at Tour de Langkawi and Dekker won a stage at Circuit Sarthe.
Team Argos-Shimano (Netherlands), formerly known as Skil-Shimano, also makes a first appearance at the Tour of Utah. This UCI Professional Continental team began the year as PROJECT 1t4i and in late March signed a new title sponsor, Argos North Sea Group (Argos). The team earned a wild card invitation to the 2009 Tour de France. The Dutch squad is led by former HTC-Highroad sprinter John Degenkolb (GER) and fellow German Marcel Kittel. In 2011, Kittel won 17 races, including a stage win at the Vuelta a Espana. This season Team Argos-Shimano has three stage wins by Kittel at the Tour of Oman and at Three Days of La Panne
EPM-UNE (Colombia) also makes its Tour of Utah debut in 2012. This all-Colombian, UCI Continental squad finished as the top team on the UCI America Tour last year. The team started 2012 by winning the Vuelta Independencia Nacional and taking the top three in the U23 competition (Eduard Beltran, Isaac Bolivar, and Javier Gomez). In 2011, the team secured the top four spots on G.C. at the Tour do Rio, with Juan Pablo Suarez taking first. At the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge, the team finished third overall in the teams classification. Look for this squad to be a threat on the Tour of Utah climbs.
Another UCI Continental team is the Competitive Cyclist Racing Team (U.S.A.), which returns to Utah for a second year. Racing last year as the RealCyclist.com Professional Cycling Team, this squad finished fifth overall in the men’s standings of the National Racing Calendar. Leading the team is 2009 Tour of Utah champion, Francisco Mancebo (ESP), who wrapped up 2011 as the top individual rider on the National Racing Calendar. He is supported by veteran climber Cesar Grajales (COL), all-rounder Chad Beyer (USA), and first-year pro Mike Olheiser (USA), who has amassed 18 national and world amateur championships.
The 2012 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will consist of six stages over six consecutive days, beginning Tuesday, August 7. The overall start and finish for Stage One will be hosted by Ogden, in northern Utah. Stage Two will feature the only Team Time Trial in the United States this year, held at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Stage Three is a road race from Ogden to Salt Lake City. Stage Four is a road race from Utah County in central Utah to Salt Lake City. Stage Five, the “Queen Stage” or signature climbing stage of the event, will be contested from Park City to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. And the grand finale Stage Six is a road race that will start and end in Park City.
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues to be free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique pro sports in the world today. More information about the Tour of Utah and its partners can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com, with updates on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is a six-day, professional bicycle stage race along the Rocky Mountain's Wasatch Range. Known as “America's Toughest Stage RaceTM,” it covers more than 400 miles of racing through some of Utah's most beautiful and challenging terrain. Now in its eighth year, the 2012 Tour of Utah is scheduled to take place August 7-12 as a UCI 2.1 sanctioned stage race for the best professional cyclists in the world. The event is owned and operated by the Utah Cycling Partnership. Larry H. Miller Group of Companies continues as the title sponsor. Official Partners of the 2011 event included the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), the Utah Office of Tourism, an agency of GOED, the Utah Sports Commission and Zions Bank. www.tourofutah.com