Earlier today, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah organizers announced the sixteen teams that have thus far committed to compete in the 2009 race billed as ‘America’s Toughest Stage Race’. These athletes will compete for a share of the $45,000 purse and NRC points. The 2009 Tour of Utah will take place August 18-23 in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Park City, Thanksgiving Point, Mt. Nebo, Tooele, and Snowbird.
The BMC Team led by 2008 Tour of Utah overall winner Jeff Louder is returning to defend his title.
“Being selected to ride in the Tour of Utah puts you on the map in the cycling world,” said Utah resident Louder. “Winning last year’s event helped catapult me to an entirely new level of recognition, confidence and respect. This tour is easily among the most challenging courses on the National Racing Calendar, and should not be missed.”
Joining BMC are the following seven professional teams Garmin-Slipstream, OUCH p/b Maxxis, Bissell, Team Type 1, Land Rover-ORBEA, Fly V Australia and Colavita/Sutter Home. In addition, eight amateur teams have also accepted an invitation to compete: Trek/Livestrong, Cal Giant-Specialized, Bobs Bicycles, Rio Grande, Waste Management, Ciclismo Racing, ZteaM Cycling and Team RideClean. The Tour of Utah will announce the rosters of the two Utah teams in the coming weeks.
The year’s race will feature more climbing than any other bicycle stage race in the United States: a prologue, five stages with two mountain top finishes, and 325 miles over six days.
A prologue on August 18 starts off the festivites, a 2.6-mile (4.3 km) uphill course in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. After a fast start at Ogden Canyon for stage 1, the riders will face two tough climbs and 82 miles (136 km) with an exciting finish at Research Park in Salt Lake City.
The 84-mile (135 km) stage 2 on August 20 is a new stage this year. The Thanksgiving Point to Nebo stage is a mostly flat course with the exception of a grueling 20-mile (32 km) climb to the finish.
Stage 3 takes us back to the Miller Motorsports Park, a world-class race track, in Tooele, Utah for the 10-mile (14.8 km) time trial loop. Last year, this stage was the final stage and the clincher in the overall win.
Stage 4 of August 22 is the “Queen Stage,” a mountaintop finish following four fierce climbs. From Park City, through the outskirts of Salt Lake to Snowbird Ski Resort—a road race of 99 mountainous miles (155 km) with 10,879 feet (3316 m) of climbing.
Finally, the race concludes with the Salt Lake Downtown Criteriumon August 23. The downtown Salt Lake criterium is a 90-minute race around a flat, four-cornered track around the City County building and Library Square. Fast and furious, the circuit is one mile in length. After 90 minutes, the winners have completed nearly 40 miles.