Seven Countries Represented by Nine Teams Accepting Early Invitations to Race at Tour of Utah
Five WorldTour Teams to Compete at “America’s Toughest Stage Race”
SALT LAKE CITY (March 27, 2018) – A prominent collection of nine men’s professional cycling teams representing seven countries have accepted invitations to compete at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. A total of 16 teams will compete on Aug. 6-12 in the invitation-only road cycling stage race, with additional teams confirmed later this spring for “America’s Toughest Stage Race.”
Five WorldTour teams will travel from the Tour de France to compete in Utah. Joining the four teams named in January — BMC Racing Team (USA), Mitchelton-Scott (Australia), Team EF Education First-Drapac presented by Cannondale (USA), and Trek-Segafredo (USA) — will be Team LottoNL-Jumbo, which is based in The Netherlands.
In May, these same WorldTour teams will be joined by Israel Cycling Academy (Israel) and Bardiani CSF (Italy) to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia. With the addition of Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini of Italy and Silber Pro Cycling of Canada, the early field of teams for the Tour of Utah will have a significant international flair. Rosters for each team are expected to total 120 riders, and will be announced in late July.
TEAMS ACCEPTING INVITATIONS (as of 3/27/18)
Bardiani CSF (Italy)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
EF Education First-Drapac presented by Cannondale (USA)
Israel Cycling Academy (Israel)
Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini (Italy)
Silber Pro Cycling (Canada)
Team LottoNL-Jumbo (Netherlands)
“We have an impressive lineup of international teams for the 2018 Tour of Utah at this early date. It is a tribute to the great support provided by host communities, Tour partners and staff that professional cycling teams around the world now ask to be invited to compete. The Tour of Utah has a solid reputation worldwide as one of the premier sporting events on the professional cycling calendar,” said John Kimball, managing director of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
All nine teams have made at least one appearance at the Tour of Utah in the previous 13 years of the event. From the WorldTour ranks, Team LottoNL-Jumbo first raced in the Tour of Utah in 2012 as Rabobank, and made its last appearance in 2014 as Belkin Pro Cycling. This Dutch-based squad has been on the racing circuit since 1984. The 26-rider roster includes two young American riders, Neilson Powless and Sepp Kuss. Both raced in Utah last year for other teams, the 21-year-old Powless was recognized as the Best Young Rider and Kuss finished second last year on the mountaintop finish of Stage 2.
As Australia’s only UCI WorldTour squad, Mitchelton-Scott returns to Utah for a second time. It has been five years since the Australian squad has competed in Utah. At that 2013 appearance as Orica-GreenEDGE, the team captured two stage victories by rider Michael Matthews (Australia).
Three of the World Tour teams are based in the U.S. with the BMC Racing Team, EF Education First-Drapac presented by Cannondale and Trek-Segafredo. BMC Racing Team has competed 10 times at the Tour of Utah and has won the overall team classification in Utah three times (2008, 2016, 2017). EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale returns for an eighth year, and Trek Factory Racing returns for a fourth year. Both of these squads last competed in 2016, when Trek Factory Racing secured the overall Sprint classification title with American Kiel Reijnen. EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale finished 2016 with a stage win and third-place overall by American rider Andrew Talansky.
Among the international field are three UCI Pro Continental teams. Israel Cycling Academy makes its second consecutive appearance at the Tour of Utah. The first professional cycling team from Israel, this team has accepted one of four wildcard invitations to compete in the upcoming Giro d’Italia, its first World Tour event.
Also competing in Italy with a special invitation will be Bardiani-CSF. The all-Italian team makes its third appearance at the Tour of Utah, finishing third in the overall team standings last year. The second all-Italian team returning to Utah is Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini, returning for a third consecutive year. This Pro Continental team had two podiums from sprinter Marco Canola, including a victory on Stage 7 in Salt Lake City.
The lone UCI Continental team at this time is Silber Pro Cycling from Canada, making its third consecutive trip to Utah. The Canadian-based team finished the 2017 season with 29 victories and 58 total podiums. The team won a stage at the 2016 Tour of Utah with Canadian Kris Dahl, the last time the Tour finished in Cedar City.
The Tour of Utah remains a 2.HC-rated stage race on the UCI America Tour, making it one of the premier events for professional cycling teams in North America. It is also one of the prominent road cycling events that is part of USA Cycling’s Professional Road Tour. The Tour of Utah will start on Aug. 6 in St. George for the first time with a prologue, and conclude seven days later in Park City. Additional host venues are Cedar City, Payson City, Antelope Island State Park, Layton City, Salt Lake City, Canyons Village, and Snowbird Resort.
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique professional sports in the world today. The Tour of Utah is sanctioned by the UCI and part of the USA Cycling Professional Road Tour. More information about the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com