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Utah News

Tour Of Utah Begins In Zion National Park

Chris Holmes

  Monday morning, the stunning red rock vistas of Zion National Park served as a backdrop for the start of the Tour of Utah, which touts itself as America’s toughest stage, road cycling race.  After eighty-four grueling miles, stage one ended with a bang-bang finish in Cedar City.

From Zion, cyclists climbed to an elevation of around ten-thousand feet near Cedar Breaks National Monument before descending the canyon at speeds near 65 miles per hour and a circuit through the streets of Cedar City for the finish.

“Cedar City is one of the more unique stages,” said Patrick McCarthy, team director of the Rally Cycling Team. “It has quite a bit of climbing but you may know, near the end, it’s a little bit flatter of a finish in town. So for our team, and a lot of the teams, it provides and opportunity for some of our sprinters to actually have a chance.”

Canadian Kris Dahl of the Silber team edged out the pack and crossed the line first.  Tuesday, stage two runs from Escalante, near Bryce Canyon National Park, to Torrey on the margins of Capital Reef National Park.  The race heads north on Wednesday.