“America’s Toughest Stage Race”, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah has shuffled around its stages and added a new venue for its criterium in the 2010 edition held from August 17 to 22 this year.
The overall course is similar to last year with a plan of making it ‘tougher’ and the two final stages switched spots with the Queen Stage, the Snowbird Road Race now held on the final and fifth day.
“I am pleased to be able to confirm the August 2010 dates for this year’s race,” said Steve Miller, president of the 2010 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah cycling race. “We had such an enthusiastic response to the 2009 event that local communities along the course are excited to see the Tour return, and last year’s participants have provided feedback on how to make the race even tougher. In addition, based on last year’s success, all existing sponsors have chosen to return making increased commitments to the race through cash, trade, advertising and marketing.”
The race starts on Tuesday August 17 with the The Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau Prologue at the Utah State Capitol on a 4.5 km (2.8 mi) flat out and back course , assuming that it is the same as last year.
The climbing starts on the 137 km (85 mi) stage 1, the Ogden to Research Park presented by University of Utah Health Care Ogden to Research Park road race which ends in Salt Lake City. Last year, this stage included two climbs, the first a steep, winding two-lane road to Snowbasin Ski resort and a climb of 2,000 feet in just over six miles over Big Mountain followed by a mad dash to the finish. In 2009, eventual winner Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing) escaped the field with his teammate to win the stage and grab the yellow jersey which he successfully defended until the end.
More climbing on stage 2, the 126 km (78.5 mi) XANGO Thanksgiving Point to Top of Mt. Nebo road race, taking the riders 4,000 feet above the low point of the course.
The teamgive individual time trial at Miller Motorsports Park returns, a 14.5 km (9.2 mi) course with some narrower sections and tight turns, some interesting out and backs and the wide banked turns on the track itself.
“It’s a pretty complicated course, it’s definitely going to be one that’s going to be beneficial to the riders that can ride it and get to know it well.” said 2008 Tour of Utah winner Jeff Louder (BMC) about the ITT last year.
After two years in Salt Lake City, a new venue for the 90-minute criterium has been chosen, the Heiden Davidson Orthopedics criterium will be held in Park City on Saturday.
The race culminates with the Snowbird Road Race p/b Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. With more kilometers, than previous years, at 165 km (102.5 mi) long, the final stage should decide the general classification. The stage should include the difficult and beautiful Alpine Loop which although is a long way from the finish will test the pretenders to the throne.
The riders will then probably plunge down a twisty, narrow highway back into and through suburbia, to go over a “small” bump over Traverse Ridge before they have to tackle the deciding 8-12 percent climb up Little Cottonwood Canyon to the Creekside Center at the Snowbird Ski & Summer resort. (See The road to Snowbird).
“The first two thirds of that climb is extremely relentless, there’s really no, it doesn’t really ever let up and the road is pretty straight, you can see a long way a lot of the time. It has a lot of Ventoux in it, it reminds me of that, the sort of climb that doesn’t seem to let up or ever give you a break, it’s as much a mental battle as a physical one and it’s a great finale.” said Utah-native Louder about the final climb.
Last year, U23 US Road Champion Alex Howes (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin) had a breakthrough performance when he soloed to victory after attacking the break at the bottom of the final brutal 7-mile climb.
Presenting sponsor Zions Bank is returning for the fourth year (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010) of the NRC race. Additional sponsors include: Utah Toyota Dealers Association, KJZZ 14, 1320 KFAN, POWERADE, Glacéau vitaminwater, FFKR Architects, Bingham Cyclery, First Endurance, Canyon Bicycles, PROBAR, I.J. and Jeanne’ Wagner Jewish Community Center, Sheraton Downtown Salt Lake City, Edge Composites, City of Ogden, and Shimano.
Race route details will be announced later.
The Tour of Utah will also include a non-competitive ride for enthusiast cyclists the Saturday before “The Ultimate Challenge.” Detailed information for The Ultimate Challenge will be released soon.