LOGAN – The 2015 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is coming to Logan next August for the first time in its 11-year history. Logan will host the first stage of the race as well as the team presentations that will take place a few days before the start.
The announcement was made by the Tour of Utah’s executive director Jenn Andrs Tuesday morning in city hall. In past years the tour has included stages all over the state, but Andrs said the race has never been anywhere north of Ogden.
“We’ve raced in Ogden a lot,” she said. “They’ve been a six or seven-time host venue, but this year we’ve made a conscious decision to bring the race as far north as we possibly can.”
According to Andrs, last year’s race created over $20 million of direct economic impact to the state. It covered 753 miles and climbed 50,000 feet in elevation, brought in 128 professional riders and six teams from the world-famous Tour de France.
“They ride just as hard and just as fast and they’re just as competitive as what you see on TV when you’re watching the Tour de France,” Andrs said.
Mayor Craig Petersen said the Tour of Utah will help promote Cache Valley to both national and international audiences and enhance Logan’s image as an outdoor biking community – one that already includes races such as Lotoja and the Cache Gran Fondo.
“This was not a trivial decision,” Petersen said. “Most of the Tour of Utah will require a significant amount of fundraising. It’s a fairly complex logistical event and I think we are up to it. I know that we are up to it and I know that we have the support of our biking community.”
Gary Saxton, the manager of the Logan Downtown Alliance, said the city’s vision it to host one of the most stunning stages in its history and wants to use it to bring people to Cache Valley.
“With the national and international coverage we’ll be able to showcase Cache Valley to America and to many countries that are big Tour of Utah watchers,” he said.
“When they see the Logan stage they will want to have that experience for themselves here in Cache Valley.”
According to Andrs, the race started 11 years ago as a three-day cycling event at Thanksgiving Point. It has grown over the years to a seven-day International Cycling Union sanctioned event and in September was elevated to a 2.HC-rated race, one of three in North America.
“It’s basically the second-highest ranking of any race you can have in the world,” said Robin Carpenter, who raced in the 2014 Tour of Utah with the Hincapie Sportswear Development team. “For me personally, it’s a bigger stage just to compete for better, bigger results. For my team and my sponsors that allow us to race, it gives us a bigger audience, a much bigger stage to promote their brands, their products and it’s an honor to be here.”
The race will start Monday, August 3 and finish Sunday, August 9. In addition to the men’s event, Logan will also host one day of the Tour of Utah Women’s Edition: Criterium Classic. The women’s event was introduced in 2014 as a one-day event, but expanded to two for the 2015 race.