By Jackie Tyson
The 2015 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah looks to be the best yet. Held over seven days from August 3-9, 2015, the international caliber race will travel 712 miles with 51,442 feet of elevation gain across seven days of racing for the best men’s teams on the planet. This year the Tour of Utah was upgraded to be one of just three races in North America as a 2.HC stage race, sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). This is the highest level for a multi-day road race, other than the Grand Tours and WorldTour events. In fact, it is the first internationally-sanctioned cycling competition in North America for men following the Tour de France, and has become a solid fixture on the UCI calendar as “Americas Toughest Stage Race.”
Cycling Utah presents our Where to Watch Guide, with information on where and when to best view the race in person. We look forward to seeing you at the race. Bring your family to the Lifestyle Expo locations near six of the finish lines, or at Reservoir Park in Salt Lake City on Friday, Aug. 7 for a big after-work party. Each stage start provides free access to Autograph Alley (opens one hour prior to each stage start) and Rider Sign-In ceremonies. Take advantage of the start venues for great access to athletes for rider interviews, photographs and autographs. Use our guide to head out to a spot or two on the course itself to watch the top riders in the world battle in Utah!
This year’s Tour of Utah will cover new territory in northern Utah and roll through Idaho for the first time. This is the second year in the 11-year history of the Tour that a second state has been crossed on the race route (Wyoming was visited in 2014). Logan hosts the new overall start, and Park City will again host the overall finish. In between, the race will visit four new counties, three new state parks and one new ski resort. Overall, the race route will pass by a record 10 ski resorts this summer. The excitement returns to Salt Lake City on Friday with a revised circuit race, which will be great for fans and punishing for the riders.
The Tour of Utah Women’s Edition is back this year with two criteriums in Logan and Ogden that are part of the National Criterium Calendar.
TourTracker will provide start-to-finish live race coverage via web cast and mobile applications all week, so look for this link at tourofutah.com at the end of July. Get all the updates on the Tour’s social channels – Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (@tourofutah #TOU15, #TOUWE15), Instagram (thetourofutah) and YouTube (2015 Tour of Utah).
2015 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Route Highlights
• 712 miles/1,145.85 kilometers – second longest course in 11 years
• 51,442 feet/15,679.5 meters of elevation gain – most climbing of any race in North America
• 7 stages – second year for full week
• 10 ski resorts – highest number of ski resorts passed
• 2nd time race extended outside Utah – Bear Lake region of Idaho
• 3 new state parks along route – Bear Lake State Park, Antelope Island State Park and Wasatch Mountain State Park
• 2 courses unveiled for Tour of Utah Women’s Edition: Criterium Classic in Logan and Ogden
(all times Mountain Time; check for updates at www.tourofutah.com)
Every Day During Race Week:
Autograph Alley and Rider Sign-In – one hour before each stage begins, be at the start line area for access to all the riders for autographs and photographs. It is free for all spectators, and great for young cycling fans who can get close to the stars of the peloton. You will also hear rider interviews on the stage with the race announcers.
University of Utah Health Care Sprint to the Finish Kids’ Bike Races – Each day, children ages four to12 have the opportunity to race their bicycles on part of the course used by the pros. To participate, kids and parents must register at the University of Utah Health Care tent in the Tour of Utah Lifestyle Expo. It’s free, and make sure each child has a helmet and closed-toe shoes for a safe experience on his/her bicycle! Registration ends 15 minutes prior to the race:
• Stage 1 – Logan – 1 p.m. at 100 East and Federal Avenue
• Stage 2 – Ogden – 1:30 p.m. at 25th Street and Kiesel Avenue
• Stage 3 – Bountiful – 1 p.m. at Main and Center streets
• Stage 4 – Heber Valley – 1 p.m. at Day Lodge at Soldier Hollow
• Stage 5 – Salt Lake City – 4:30 p.m. at Reservoir Park
• Stage 6 – Salt Lake City – 9:45 a.m. near Rio Grande Depot
• Stage 7 – Park City – 1 p.m. near 7th and Main streets
Lifestyle Expo – Stop by the interactive festival area and sponsor showcase that serves as a gateway to the finish line every day. The Lifestyle Expo delivers an array of interactive exhibits, official Tour merchandise and live entertainment, including jumbo television screens to watch the race unfold as it heads to the finish. Admission is free to the Lifestyle Expo. You will find the Lifestyle Expo adjacent to the finish line for six of the stages, and a special setup at Reservoir Park for Friday in Salt Lake City.
• Aug 3 – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Logan
• Aug 4 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ogden
• Aug 5 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bountiful
• Aug 6 – 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Soldier Hollow in Heber Valley
• Aug 7 – 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Reservoir Park in Salt Lake City
• Aug 8 – 12 noon to 4 p.m. Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
• Aug 9 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Park City
The participating teams and riders will be introduced at the Tour of Utah Team Presentation — Saturday, August 1, 7 p.m., Logan Golf and Country Club, 710 N 1500 E, Logan, UT 84321
Tour of Utah Women’s Edition: Criterium Classic
Monday, August 3
Finish Time 12:15 p.m.
Start/Finish – 100 East and Federal Avenue
Logan will host the first day for the Omnium event. Top women’s professional and elite cycling teams will race for 75 minutes on a technical 1.5-mile course with six corners in downtown Logan, a similar loop that will be used by the men for the Stage 1 finish. Starting on 100 East and Federal Avenue, the course will turn left on Center Street and start a long, gradual climb through Boulevard to 400 East. The course levels out before the riders turn left on 300 North and encounter a fast downhill to the last corner to the finish line.
Tuesday, August 4
Finish Time 12:45 p.m.
Start/Finish – Historic 25th Street and Kiesel Avenue
Ogden will host the second and final day for the women, racing 75 minutes from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The start/finish will be located on Historic 25th Street across from the Ogden Municipal Gardens. This fast, flat 1.5 mile circuit has six corners, using some of the same roads the men will race for the Stage 2 finish. The course turns right on Washington Avenue to 28th Street, followed by a right turn on Grant Avenue, a left turn on 26th Street, a right turn on Lincoln Avenue, then a final right turn on Historic 25th to the finish. The winner of the Criterium Classic will be determined by total points from the two days of racing.
Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah –
Logan to Logan
132 miles – 6,553 feet of climbing
Monday, August 3
Start Time 9:15 a.m.
Finish Time 2:45 p.m.
Start/Finish Location – 138 N 100 E, Logan
The Tour of Utah will start in northern Utah with an inaugural visit to Logan and Cache County. Stage 1 will be the longest opening day of racing in Tour history, 132 total miles. Starting in downtown Logan, the race will head up beautiful Logan Canyon. After cresting the first Ski Utah King Of the Mountain (KOM) climb at 7,700 feet, the race will descend down into Garden City and begin a 48-mile, clock-wise trip around turquoise-colored Bear Lake. The race will enter the State of Idaho for the first time, expected to enter Fish Haven, Idaho between 10:55-11:15 a.m. Racers will turn off Highway 89 in St. Charles, Idaho and use N. Beach Road to connect to Eastshore Road and head down the eastern shores of Bear Lake. There should be strong crosswinds on the south end of the lake before heading back into Garden City.
The race will climb back out of Garden City over the crest of Logan Canyon and follow the long descent on Highway 89 for the return to Logan. These are two great places to watch the race, in Garden City and near Utah State University in Logan, since the race passes these areas twice. In Garden City, see the peloton pass on Highway 89 from 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. in a northbound direction, and again between 12:25 – 1:45 p.m. headed back to Logan. In Logan outside Utah State University, the peloton is expected to pass along Hwy 89 between 9-9:30 a.m. and again from 1:45-3:30 p.m.
Once the racers hit Logan, the pro men’s teams will make two laps around a challenging and technical circuit. Streets closed for these loops include sections of 100 North, 200 North, Pioneer Avenue, 200 East, Boulevard, 500 East, 400 North, and 100 East. The finishing circuit will favor a rider with strong technical skills and spectators will most likely expect a large field sprint.
Stage 2 presented by Workers Compensation Fund
Tremonton to Ogden
100.3 miles – 4,630 feet of climbing
Tuesday, August 4
Start Time 10:45 a.m.
Finish Time 2:45 p.m.
Start Location – 40 E 200 N, Tremonton
Finish Location – 324 E 2500 S, Ogden
For the first time, the Tour of Utah will begin in the town of Tremonton. Racers will enjoy the wide, rural roads of Box Elder County making a 28-mile loop before entering Tremonton a second time for a Utah Sports Commission Sprint line on Main Street in Tremonton. This race within the race should take place between 11:30 to 11:45 a.m. Rolling enclosures will take place along State Road 38 through Deweyville and Honeyville for the race from approximately 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and fans along SR 38 in Brigham City will see the race pass through from approximately 12 Noon to 1:15 p.m.
The race will use Highway 89 in Weber County, passing through Perry, Willard, Pleasant View and North Ogden, en route to the climb over Ogden Canyon on 4100 North. The race should climb Ogden Canyon between 1:40 to 2:45 p.m. The route heads around Pineview Reservoir before returning to Ogden via the North Ogden Divide. With its average gradient of 10%, expect a selection to be made on this final Category 3 climb.
Once the race enters downtown Ogden, the racers will be treated to three laps around a two-mile circuit. Ogden is an eight-time Tour host. Streets closed for these loops include sections of Madison Avenue, 28th St., Grant Avenue, 26th St., Lincoln Street, and 25th Street.
“We’ve had a great history with the Tour of Utah. They’ve touched one part of our community every single year they’ve had the event (since 2008),” stated Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell. Watch the finish at Historic 25th Street across from the Ogden Municipal Gardens. This stage will favor a strong all-around racer with a good sprint who can get over The Divide with the climbers. Rory Sutherland was the last racer to win a stage into Ogden with a climb up North Ogden Divide from the east.
Stage 3 presented by Zions Bank
Antelope Island State Park to Bountiful
107.9 miles – 6,400 feet of climbing
Wednesday, August 5
Start Time 10:05 a.m.
Finish Time 2:45 p.m.
Start Location – Antelope Island Road at Marina Road
Finish Location – 20 S Main St., Bountiful
For the first time, the Tour visits Davis County and Antelope Island State Park. With a large wildlife population including antelope, bighorn sheep, and more than 600 American Bison, Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. Riders will enjoy four miles on the island at the start, then cross the seven-mile causeway to the mainland. Antelope Island State Park opens at 6 a.m. and the $10 admission fee will be waived for Tour of Utah fans on Aug. 5.
After the start, spectators can head to the finish area in Bountiful while the peloton navigates the KOMs of the North Ogden Divide and Trapper’s Loop. The racers will enjoy relatively flat roads, and the first Utah Sports Commission Sprint line in Hooper, until they hit the first Ski Utah KOM at North Ogden Divide. The descent into the lush, green Eden Valley will take the peloton around Pineview Reservoir. The race will pass on the east side of Pineview Reservoir, going through Huntsville, to climb Trapper’s Loop. The race should crest this climb between 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Trapper’s Loop will be the second Ski Utah KOM of the day, in the shadow of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games ski venue of Snowbasin Resort.
The race will re-enter Davis County on its way to the finish in Bountiful. a few blocks before the finishing line at 20 S Main Street, the race route turns onto 400 North for two nine-mile circuits along the Bountiful Bench. The race will pass this area the first time at approximately 1:20 to 2:15 p.m. and the second time approximately 1:40 to 2:40 p.m. There will be Ski Utah KOM points awarded for both passes on the Bountiful Bench. Expect a select group of contenders to separate themselves from the rest of the field on Stage With a viewing spot in downtown Bountiful, you will catch a glimpse of the racers three times, including the top contenders for the overall win for the 2015 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
Stage 4 presented by Subaru
Soldier Hollow in Heber Valley to Soldier Hollow
128.7 miles – 8,173 feet of climbing
Thursday, August 6
Start Time 9:30 a.m.
Finish Time 2:45 p.m.
Start/Finish Location – 2002 Soldier Hollow Drive, Midway
Stage 4 could be a good day for a breakaway with three Ski Utah KOM climbs. It is the first time the Tour has started at Soldier Hollow, a popular winter nordic destination made famous at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The Tour will begin and end at the Day Lodge at Soldier Hollow. Spectator parking will be available in designated areas south of the Day Lodge.
The race will head up Daniels Canyon to the first Ski Utah KOM at Daniels Summit. Racers can expect strong crosswinds across Strawberry Reservoir, along with undulating terrain for the next 40 miles into Duchesne County.
The race will then head north into the Uinta National Forest. Another first for the Tour will be the 10-mile, Category 2 climb up Wolf Creek Pass. After cresting the pass at over 9,300 feet, the racers will quickly descend into the town of Woodland, following State Road 32 for 14 miles. on the way into Wasatch County and the Jordanelle climb. There are two Utah Sports Commission Sprint lines, in Hanna and Woodland.
The race will pass downtown Midway on Main Street (Hwy 113) between 1:55 to 3:40 p.m. The route will then follow State Road 113 and Tate lane to reach the elevated finish line at Soldier Hollow, which is part of the Wasatch Mountain State Park. The final stretch into the finish line is deceiving, as it is a long, slightly uphill sprint to the Day Lodge at Soldier Hollow.
Stage 5 presented by Utah Sports Commission
Salt Lake City Downtown Circuit
55 miles – 4,921 feet of climbing
Friday, August 7
Start Time 4:40 p.m.
Finish Time 6:45 p.m.
Start/Finish Location – 50 E 500 N, Utah State Capitol Complex
The Salt Lake City Circuit is back, and with a twist. Starting on the north side of the Utah State Capital complex on 500 North, the race will follow the traditional route passing City Creek Canyon, through the Avenues and the University of Utah.
Pro cyclist and Utah resident Tanner Putt, who now rides for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycing Team, is excited to see a stage return to downtown. “So many people come out for that stage, all of Salt Lake. That’s really the center of cycling in Utah. The fans are crazy. It’s really fast and an exciting finish.”
The race will descend down South Temple towards downtown Salt Lake City and head up State Street. This is where the race breaks from tradition and will turn on North Temple to 200 West and into the Marmalade Neighborhood. Things get interesting as the race turns right on 600 North and up the steep 20 percent grades of Wall Street and Zane Avenue through the Capital Hill Neighborhood to the hilltop finish at the Capital. The race will complete seven laps of an eight-mile circuit to make this the hardest 55 miles of the week.
“We are so excited that Salt Lake City will be the hub Friday night,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. “And hopefully people will plan, and come down and enjoy the evening and see world-class cycling in downtown Salt Lake.” If you don’t score an invite to a tailgate party at a residence along the route, join the community celebration at Reservoir Park. The race will not only speed by on three sides of the park, but you can also watch live coverage on a big screen TV. This is here the Tour of Utah Lifestyle Expo will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Friday.
Some tips to enjoy this after-work, Friday night stage:
• Each lap is expected to take approximately 18-22 minutes to complete.
• Police will begin closing the roads to traffic at approximately 4:15 p.m.
• Traffic will be allowed to cross the course during the race under police control. There may be a short delay as the race passes.
• Visit team parking and Autography Alley to get photos and signatures from athletes. This will be available from 3:30-4:40 p.m. at the start/finish line, located at 50 E 500 N.
• Spectators are encouraged to use a GREENbike to reach the course. You can park it at Harmon’s Grocery store at State Street and 1st South, one block from Eagle Gate, to see the race.
• Use Utah Transit Authority’s TRAX Blue Line or Green Line for easy access to course from the City Center stop (100 S. Main Street).
Stage 6 presented by University of Utah Health Care
Salt Lake City to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
110.4 miles – 12,959 feet of climbing
Saturday, August 8
Start Time 10:50 a.m.
Finish Time 3:45 p.m.
Start Location – 428 W Broadway, Salt Lake City
Finish Location – 100 Little Cottonwood Canyon, Snowbird
The Queen stage from Salt Lake City to Snowbird returns for the second year in a row with a new start location in front of the historic Rio Grande Depot in Downtown Salt Lake City. Riders will roll out passing Pioneer Park, which hosts the Downtown Farmers Market each Saturday from June to October, and take 800 North to Emigration Canyon. They will encounter the first two Ski Utah KOM’s on Little Mountain and Big Mountain. The race continues through Morgan and Summit Counties on the way to Park City and the brutal Category 1 climb to Guardsman’s Pass, followed by the fast descent of Big Cottonwood Canyon to Wasatch Blvd.
For a ninth year, and the second consecutive year starting in Salt Lake City, the Queen Stage will finish with the legendary six-mile climb of Little Cottonwood Canyon to the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. This same route, with 12,900 feet of vertical gain, will be used earlier in the day for The Ultimate Challenge, an amateur cycling event hosted by the Tour of Utah, University of Utah Health Care and Harmon’s Grocery. All spectator traffic and cyclists must reach the bottom of Little Cottonwood Canyon before 2 p.m. on Saturday. After that time, ALL motorists/riders will be stopped and directed to the Swamp Lot. This is for safety related to the Tour of Utah race caravan and professional cyclists.
Michael Schär of BMC Racing Team, who won Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour of Utah and was 7th overall at the 2013 Tour of Utah, remembers Stage 6 very well. “The crowds at Snowbird are really special. They are really, really fanatic, and they are happy to see us. They cheer for the first and the last rider the same.”
Any of the Ski Utah KOMs are great places to watch the race, as well as the Swamp Lot on Wasatch Boulevard, a Utah Transit Authority Park & Ride area that is popular during ski season. There will be a big Viewing Party at the Swamp Lot, which is free for all spectators on Saturday. It will include big screen televisions to follow live race coverage and offer four food trucks for pay-as-you-go hospitality. This will also serve as a hydration stop with complimentary supplies for riders of The Ultimate Challenge.
Stage 7 presented by VLCM/ Barracuda
Park City to Park City
78 miles – 7,806 feet of climbing
Sunday, August 9
Start Time 12:20 p.m.
Finish Time 3:45 p.m.
Start/Finish Location – 650 Main Street, Park City
“Racing in Park City on that final stage, it’s my favorite day of the year,” said Tanner Putt, who grew up in Park City and won the first KOM points on Stage 7 last year riding for the Bissell Development Team.
And for cycling fans, Stage 7 has also become one of the best days to watch professional cycling. The race will once again start and finish on Historic Main St in Park City. The racers will tackle one of the toughest final days of a stage race they will see all year. The race courses through the farmlands of Summit and Wasatch Counties to the first KOM of the day at Wolf Creek Ranches. This short but very steep climb will soften up the legs of the racers as they approach the base of Empire Pass.
Considered one of the toughest climbs in the world, Empire Pass has quickly become a road of legend. “It is one of the most punishing climbs, mentally and physically, that I have ever done,” said Alex Howes of the Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team, who finished 31st on G.C. at the 2014 Tour of Utah. This 10-kilometer climb has an average gradient of 10 percent, and offers a few pitches that exceed 20 percent. It offers a lot of shady spots under the aspen trees to watch the suffering in the peloton. This is the final test for the racers before they descend the Mine Road, at speeds over 60 mph, heading to the exciting finale on Main Street.
Look for riders like two time winner Tom Danielson, and perennial contender Chris Horner to be in the mix at the end. “I love Utah. It has everything that I love about the sport – hard racing, hot weather, steep climbs, fantastic fans and beautiful courses. I can’t wait to be back there in August with Team Airgas-Safeway to race for the win!” said Chris Horner, G.C. contender for Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team, who finished second overall at the Tour of Utah in 2013 and 2014.
In 2014, the race saw former World Champion and Tour de France Champion Cadel Evans of BMC Racing Team use his superior descending skills to catch and pass the lead group on this descent, and take his second stage victory of the Tour of Utah. American Tom Danielson of Cannondale-Garmin took the overall title for a second consecutive year on Stage 7. Watch the start on Main Street on Sunday, eat and shop in Park City, then see the finish and final awards ceremony!
For more information on the Tour of Utah, visit tourofutahcom. For daily updates during the tour, visit cyclingutah.com.