2017 Tour of Utah cycling race host cities announced, time trial to be added
(KUTV) The Tour of Utah, the race known as "America's Toughest Stage Race" will take place in the top of Utah during 2017.
Now in its 13th year, the Tour of Utah announced on Wednesday at Vivint Smart Home Arena that the 7-day race will begin in Cache Valley and end in Salt Lake City.
The host cities and stages for the July 31-August 6, 2017 event are as follows:
Stage 1: Monday, Jul 31 - Logan
Stage 2: Tuesday, Aug 1 - Brigham City To Snowbasin Resort
Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug 2 - Big Cottonwood Canyon
Stage 4: Thursday, Aug 3 - South Jordan
Stage 5: Friday, Aug 4 - Layton To Bountiful
Stage 6: Saturday, Aug 5 - Heber Valley To Snowbird Resort
Stage 7: Sunday, Aug 6 - Salt Lake City
As the continent's second largest race, the Tour of Utah, requires more than 1,000 volunteers to put on, and it's attracting more international teams and media each year. The title sponsor of the event is Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. KUTV 2News is also a sponsor of the tour.
As President of Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment, Steve Starks said while the organization prides itself on providing entertainment in world-class venues, the cycling event does something unique.
"With the Tour of Utah, the venue is the state of Utah," Starks said during a news conference on Wednesday. "For us that's special, because we get to showcase what we believe is the greatest state in the country, with the most beautiful scenery and we open that up to over 100 million homes and it's broadcast all over the world."
Starks mentioned how the cycling race is also a community event around the state. Each host city celebrates and participates in its own unique way. He told of an experience during the 2016 Tour of Utah in Escalante, a small town in Southern Utah. He was trying to buy a drink at a convenience store in the town and the clerk told him he needed to hurry because they were going to close up shop early in order to be a part of the tour coming through town. She told him, her boss said the race was worth it to the business to shut down so employees could all participate in this event, because it was so special, Starks said.
"To me that's the heart of what the vision was when the tour of Utah was created," Starks said. "It's about community, It's about culture and it's about enhancing the quality of life in Utah. For that town and cities all over the state, that's the pride they take in putting on a world-class event."
Later that morning, everyone in the town was served cinnamon rolls that were made by a local church group and riders were all given cowboy hats by the locals.
"This year it's a race route that will reprise several familiar courses and sprinkle in a few new favorites," said Jen Anders, Executive Director of the Tour of Utah.
In 201 days the 2017 race will be underway.
A little bit about the host communities
This year there are four new host communities.
Logan - Offering a university town setting with spectacular scenery of Bear Lake's blue waters and rugged Logan Canyon.
Brigham City to Snowbasin Resort - Located along the "Fruit Highway," Brigham City will debut as a new host city this year and wind up the mountain at Snowbasin Resort to where some of the 2002 Olympic Games were held.
Big Cottonwood Canyon - A new host community in Salt Lake County. This will be the first time since 2011 that the race will have an individual time trial as part of the race.
South Jordan - As a first-time host city, this race stage will begin in South Jordan City. In the past the race has gone through the area, but this will be the first time it will be a circuit race out in the west desert.
Layton to Bountiful - Davis County continues as the home of Stage 5. The finish line will once again be lined with American flags in Bountiful. This will be the third year the race stage will conclude in Bountiful.
Commissioners in Davis County have "truly caught the vision of the Tour of Utah is about" for the community and what the race means for the state and "their communities continue to turn out to support the race," Anders said.
Heber Valley to Snowbird Resort - The queen stage will provide a new twist on an old favorite. After a start at Soldier Hollow the race will wind to a fan favorite finish with a climb up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird Resort.
Salt Lake City - It will be a new, but familiar location. The downtown circuit will culminate the 2017 tour in Utah's capital city.
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