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Changes Come To The Tour Of Utah
Racers in the Tour of Utah cross the finish line Monday in Downtown Logan

Now in its twelfth year, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah brings cyclists from around the world to race through some of the state’s most beautiful and challenging cycling landscapes.

According to Jenn Andrs, executive director of the Tour of Utah, the tour is known around the country as being one of the most challenging races.

“We are known as America’s toughest stage race. That’s our tagline,” Andrs said. “And this year we will travel 712 miles in seven days and climb 51,000 vertical feet. That is the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest just under two times.”

Four of the teams racing this year, recently finished the Tour de France. Jeff Warren, director of volunteers for stage three in Davis County and a cyclist himself, said because of this, the race is an opportunity for Utahns to see some of the world’s best racing teams.

“They’ll be coming directly from finishing that event to Utah to test their racers against not only the Utah terrain, but against one another,” Warren said. “It’s this amazing event that far, far too many people know nothing about. What we should really expect is to see some of the very best athletes in the world up close and personal.”

Around 1,200 volunteers help support the race and Warren said this year’s tour will require more volunteers than ever before.

“I can’t tell you how many sleepless nights this has been,” Warren said. “We were tasked with the Bountiful stage from Antelope Island to Bountiful, to get almost 500 volunteers. It’s the largest number of volunteers the Tour of Utah has ever needed because the tour is going through residential areas for the first time ever. So we needed tons of volunteers.”

According to Andrs, because the routes will be going through residential areas, more spectators are also expected compared to previous years.

“We anticipate that we’ll see an increase in spectators simply because we’re racing though some more urban parts of Utah,” Andrs said. “I think in terms of how the race is put together the competition is going to be as good as or better than years past.”

The third stage of the race is set to complete in Bountiful and Mayor Randy Lewis said he is hoping to see residents come out in force. Lewis expects more than his city’s population to come cheer on the cyclists. 

“I said from the beginning, I wanted 50 on the fifth. That’s 50,000 on the fifth,” Lewis said. “Now that’s a lot of people—they get around 30,000 at Park City. And I think it’s nice to set our goals high.”

According to Andrs, the race has a benefit not only for the individual communities that play host, but also for the state as a whole. She said the race brings an estimated 20 million dollars for the state’s economy.

“We have people who come in from all over the country and from all over the world to be spectators at that race. So those are tourism dollars that are coming into the communities that we visit,” Andrs said. “And I really think that we will continue to grow.”

The race will conclude with the final stage on Sunday August 9 in Park City.