The Larry H Miller Tour of Utah “America's Toughest Stage Race,” revealed the six cities along the Wasatch Front picked to host stages of the 2011 stage race. The race venues include Park City, Ogden, Provo, The Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake City, and Snow Bird Winter Resort. The race will include a prologue, time trial, and a mountain top finish at Snow Bird Winter Resort. Together, the six stages of the 2011 Tour of Utah will add up to nearly 30,000 feet of climbing.
The host cities are:
Park City – Prologue August 9
Ogden – Stage One August 10
Provo – Stage Two August 11
The Miller Motorsports Park – Stage Three ITT august 12
Salt Lake City – Stage Five August 13
Snow Bird Winter Summer Resort – Queen Stage Finish August 14
In an hour-long press conference in the Utah State Capitol Building, Steve Miller president of the Utah Cycling Partnership, owner of the race, introduced representatives from each of the host cites. Governor Gary Herbert, retired professional Davis Phinney, Former Olympian Eric Heiden and USA cycling CEO Steve Johnson, also gave brief remarks.
In a change from previous editions, the 2011 Tour of Utah has received a UCI 2.1 rating, a status it shares with the Amgen Tour of California and the Quizno’s Pro Challenge in Colorado. All three races are part of the Americas Tour, a regional designation by the UCI. The new status for the Tour of Utah meant an end to the Park City criterium, because the sport’s international rules do not allow the inclusion of a criterium in a multi-day race. Today’s press conference named the race’s host cities, but not yet the full course details. Available information suggests that a stage beginning and ending in Provo may replace last year’s Mount Nebo road stage. The new stage around Provo should offer plenty of climbing.
Following the conference, T Burke Swindlehurst, Course Director for the Tour Of Utah offered up his opinion on this years race:
I'm really excited about the new route we've laid out. Particularly the fact that we have even more elevation gain than in years past (in keeping with our claim as "America's toughest stage race") yet the overall layout of the courses well be less suited to the pure-climber and more toward the abilities of a true all-arounder with a strong team to support him. There will be 4 totally new courses for 2011 and each one has it's own unique character. I believe this year's route will also be the most spectator friendly edition yet. I hesitate to pick one stage in particular that might stand out above the other, mainly due to the fact as we all know, it's the racing itself that determines how exciting any stage can be and each one of these courses have the ability to turn the general classification in it's head.
Race organizers have not yet revealed the full list of invited teams or all of the course details, but they have confirmed several of the invited teams. RadioShack with defending Tour of Utah champion Levi Leipheimer, Garmin-Cervélo, the team of World Champion Thor Hushovd, HTC-Highroad, a perennial powerhouse on the international circuit, and BMC Professional Racing Team, whose roster includes former U.S. National Champion George Hincapie and 2010 Tour of Utah prologue winner Taylor Phinney, are among the teams who will participate in this year’s edition of the Tour of Utah. In total, the 2011 race will include 150 riders from 15 of cycling’s elite ProTeam and Professional Continental level teams, and they will compete for a prize purse of $116,000.
Update: Video! Speeches from the Tour of Utah presser.