13 August 2008

The 2008 Tour of Utah starts today

The 2008 running of the Tour of Utah starts today with a 101 mile mostly flat stage starting and finishing in Nephi, Utah. Unfortunately, due to work, I will only be able to attend Friday's stage 3 criterium in downtown Salt Lake City. I believe that I will have media credentials, so I will be able to get some more in-depth coverage of that stage.

Last ran in 2006 (2007 was missed because of financial constraints), the 2008 Tour has been restructured financially, and downsized from a proposed 7 stages to 5. They have also focused on attracting domestic teams with it's spot on the NRC. With over 30,000 ft of climbing, the Tour of Utah is one of the more demanding stage races in the United States.

Here is a rundown of the stages:

Wednesday, Aug. 13, Stage 1: Nephi to Nephi start time 10:00am
Beginning and ending in Nephi, racers will travel 101 miles (162 km) through neighboring towns of Fountain Green, Wales, Spring City, Fairview, Moroni and Mount Pleasant, and include a total of 4,851 feet of climbing.

Thursday, Aug. 14, Stage 2: Salt Lake to Ogden start time 11:00am
On the menu are four climbs and a flat finish - after 9,960 feet of climbing. Only 84 miles from Salt Lake City to Ogden, home of Weber State University.

Friday, Aug. 15, Stage 3: Downtown Salt Lake City Criterium start time 7:00pm
This 90-minute race will be run in the heart of Downtown Salt Lake City around a flat, four-corner course that stretches one mile.

Saturday, Aug. 16, Stage Four: Deer Valley to Snowbird start time 10:00am
A mountaintop finish following four fierce climbs for a total of 14,778 vertical feet. From Deer Valley Resort in Park City, through the outskirts of Salt Lake to Snowbird Ski Resort: a road race of 99 mountainous miles.

Sunday, Aug. 17, Stage Five: Miller MotorSports Park Individual Time Trial start time 10:ooam
Originally announced for 18 miles, this race was shortened to 12 miles and now will only be a 7.5-mile individual test at the Miller Motor Sportspark in Tooele, Utah. Though it is only a short distance, it includes 650 feet of climbing.

Here is a list of the teams that should be participating later today:

American R.A.D.D.
Bissell Pro Cycling Team
BMC Racing Team
California Giant Team
The Fan Sports Network Team
Garmin-Chipotle Pro Team
Hagens Berman Cycling Team
Health Net Pro Cycling
Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling Team
Ride Clean
Rock Racing
Team Rubicon
Symmetrics Pro Cycling Team
Successful Living Pro Cycling Team
Team Type 1
Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team
Utah All Stars

Check out the Tour of Utah website for more information. I hopefully will be posting results after each stage, and as I said earlier, I hopefully will be able to bring you more in-depth coverage for Friday's stage.

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