No major US race has ever survived a hiatus of this length, meaning the Tour is unlikely to ever return.
PEACHTREE CITY, GA (December 22, 2021): Medalist Sports, operators of the Tour of Utah, announced today that planning for the 2022 event have been suspended and that they have asked USA Cycling and the UCI (Union Cycliste International) to remove the race from the international cycling calendar.
This will be the third consecutive year that the Tour of Utah has been cancelled; first due to COVID-19 restrictions, and now due to sponsorship woes.
Chris Aronhalt, owner and President of Medalist Sports had this to say: “On-going sponsor and host community discussions have been positive; however, not strong enough to support a viable effort to meet our collective expectations. While disappointed, Medalist Sports is grateful for the opportunity and cherishes the Tour of Utah’s legacy.”
The Tour of Utah was first held as a local race in 2004, and grew in stature the next two years. In 2007, the race was cancelled due to sponsorship problems, but returned in 2008 after the race was purchased by members of the Larry H. Miller family. The race stepped-up to UCI level in 2011, and featured some of its strongest fields in the early years of the decade as many European squads sent some of their top riders, including 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC Racing, 2011) and Jens Voigt (Leopold-Trek, 2012-2014).
In the latter part of the decade, due to a lack of additional racing in the United States, the European squads started sending teams comprised of lesser-known and less-experienced riders, but the quality of racing did not suffer, with future stars like Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly, 2014) and Sepp Kuss (Lotto-NL Jumbo, 2016) taking spectacular wins.
Unfortunately, with the race now being cancelled for the third consecutive year, it is unlikely that it will ever return, as no major race in the United States has ever survived two hiatuses, especially one of the length of the current hiatus.