Tour of Utah Spectator Guide – Get Ready to Watch from August 7-12, 2012


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Tour of Utah Spectator Guide – Get Ready to Watch from August 7-12, 2012

By Bill Cutting


The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah has grown from a respected, amateur cycling race in to one of only four internationally-sanctioned, multi-stage, American pro cycling events in 2012. Boasting 545 miles of racing and 38,500 feet of elevation gain, the Tour showcases some of the most beautiful and challenging cycling terrain in North America.

The Tour of Utah is the world’s first major professional stage race that follows the Tour de France and the 2012 Olympic Games. Many athletes who will have competed in these two pinnacle events will travel to Utah in August for our race. The Tour of Utah is free to all spectators and easily accessible to anyone who wants to catch the spirit of professional cycling.

There are a host of exciting activities that take place in and around the stage starts and finishes, so be sure to check out the exciting venues–both urban and rural–the Tour will visit.

Also, be sure to check out the Ultimate Challenge, our amateur ride that traces Queen Stage Five on the very same day as the pros will ride it. This year the Ultimate Challenge features intermediate finish lines of 34 and 75 miles in Heber and Alpine, respectively. Registration closes Sunday, August 5 at midnight.

Finally, get involved in the community outreach project dedicated to fighting childhood obesity, the Echelon Project.


Following the Tour

Check out the Tour Blog for the latest updates, musings and analyses, pre, during and post-event. It’s a great way to connect with other fans. Coverage of the race will be provided online on your desktop or mobile device via TourTracker, Powered by Adobe. Visit the AppStore or Android Store to download these apps. And for the first time, the final two hours of every stage can be seen LIVE on FSN, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., Mountain Daylight Time. Check your cable or satellite listings for exact channel information. Daily race wrap-up show will air nightly, August 7-12, on KJZZ TV, channel 14.  If you are following on twitter, follow @cyclingutah. Also look for the twitter hashtag #tou12.



Tour of Utah Guide and Where to Watch

Have you ever wondered where to go to be able to get the best view of the 2012 Tour of Utah? These are the best places to watch the pros battle it out to prove they have what it takes to conquer America’s Toughest Stage Race.


Stage One: Ogden to Ogden, Presented by Zions Bank

Tuesday, August 7

Stage Type: Road Race

Total Distance: 131 mi. (211 km); 8,939 ft. (2,724 meters) of climbing

Typical Conditions: 80º- 90º F

Start: 10:15 a.m.; Estimated Finish: 3:45 p.m.

Start/Finish/Expo Location: 25th Street and Washington Blvd.

Vivint Autograph Alley: 9:15-10:00 a.m.

Lifestyle Expo, brought to you by Geigerrig: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

For 2012, the Tour of Utah kicks off not with a prologue, but with a road stage. The route starts in downtown Ogden and “warms up” in Ogden Canyon. Along the way racers will trade attacks through Morgan County’s lush ranchlands and canyons, pass two massive reservoirs, travel the back side of North Ogden Pass, and summit the infamous Trapper’s Loop from both directions. After all that, look for a thrilling bunch sprint when the peloton returns to the finish in downtown Ogden.

The Weber-Morgan County landscape stretches across three centuries: 19th century family farms, 20th century historic downtown Ogden, and 21st century high tech outdoor sports company headquarters. Saturdays in summer, ride your bike to the Ogden Valley Farmers and Artists Market, a weekly festival of art, music and nature’s bounty.


With the official start/finish of the race located on historic 25th Street in Ogden, the course offers several great vantage points for fans to see the race pass by twice from one location.

Downtown Ogden:  Historic 25th Street will host the Start and Finish for this 131-mile Stage One. With such a long stage, including four Ski Utah King of the Mountain climbs, the start is scheduled to begin at 10:15 a.m. Come out at 9 a.m. to visit the team parking area and Autograph Alley for the Rider Sign-In activities.


Trappers Loop: Check out a great spot to see two Ski Utah King of the Mountain climbs without moving an inch! Located on State Route 167, straddling Weber and Morgan Counties, the summit of Trappers Loop near the access road to Snowbasin Ski Resort is the spot.  Climbers will fight for KOM points here at the summit, twice.  Racers will summit the Category 3 climb at approximately 10:45am and again between 2:00-2:30pm on the way back to Ogden.  Spectators can even follow the race down Trappers Loop after the second KOM and catch the finish on 25th Street.  This can be done when the race heads east around Pineview Reservoir; spectators should head west down Ogden Canyon in order to get to the finish in time for the finish.


North Ogden Divide:  This summit sits at 6200 feet and The North Canyon Road links North Ogden from the West to Liberty and Pineview Reservoir to the East. Look for eagles soaring above this popular area for hiking. With only 12 miles to go and the two –mile climb reaching up to 15% gradient, North Ogden Divide will be where the fireworks happen.  Look for a dwindled peloton and continuous attacks up the steep Category 2 climb as racers try to separate themselves and chase glory in Downtown Ogden.


Stage Two: Miller Motorsports Park Team Time Trial, Presented by XO Communications

Wednesday, August 8

Stage Type: Team Time Trial (TTT)

Total Distance & Elevation: 13.5 mi. (21.75 km)

Typical Conditions: 80º- 90º F

Start: 12:15 p.m.; Estimated Finish: 3:45 p.m.

Miller Motorsports Park, 2901 North Sheep Lane, Tooele, UT

Lifestyle Expo, brought to you by Geigerrig: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

The Team Time Trial sets the stage for the difficult mountain days to follow—You and your friends have the best seats in the house with grandstand seating at Miller Motorsports Park! Stage 2 is only 30 minutes from Salt Lake City.

Without a prologue to establish initial standings, the GC at the start of Stage 2 should be wide open. The inaugural Team Time Trial at the legendary Miller Motorsports Park will serve to shake that selection up even more, and set the stage for the difficult mountain days to follow.

Each team will complete 3 laps of a 4.5-mile course, totaling 13.5 miles or 21.75 km.

If you’re lucky enough to visit Utah before or after the Tour, treat yourself to one of many world-class motorcycle, automobile or kart events at MMP, considered the finest racetrack of its type in North America.

Stage 2 offers a unique viewing opportunity: Fans can watch the whole course from the bleachers at Miller Motorsports Park!


Stage Three: Ogden to University of Utah Research Park, Presented by University of Utah Health Care

Thursday, August 9

Stage Type: Road Race

Total Distance & Elevation: 85.5 mi. (137 km); 7,134 ft. (2,174 meters) of climbing

Typical Conditions: 80º- 90º F

Start: 12:10 p.m.; Estimated Finish: 3:50 p.m. 

Start Location and Vivint Autograph Alley: 1 block west of Washington Blvd on 23rd St. in Ogden 23rd: 11:10 a.m. -12:00 noon

Finish and Lifestyle Expo, brought to you by Geigerrig held at University of Utah Research Park: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. 

Game on. After climbing the infamous North Ogden Pass, riders will loop around Pineview reservoir, passing under Snowbasin Ski resort, site of the 2002 Olympic downhill. After rolling along through the emerald ranches and farms of Morgan Valley, past East Canyon Dam and reservoir, they’ll grind up the 5.5-mile, 7 percent climb to the Big Mountain summit, followed by a mad, 15-mile downhill chase to the finish in University of Utah’s Research Park. The last two editions of this stage came down to two-man breaks that snuck away on the Big Mountain climb, barely holding off the charging peloton.

Research Park is home to some of the most promising new technological projects and established science and tech companies to emerge from the U of U research juggernaut. It’s also the site of Red Butte Gardens and Arboretum whose summer amphitheater showcases America’s finest contemporary musical acts. Recently opened: the spectacular new Natural History Museum of Utah at the Rio Tinto Center. Both should not be missed.


Downtown Ogden:  The start on 23rd Street in Ogden offers a great place to view the start of Stage 3.  Come to the start before lunch to visit with the riders at the Team Parking area and grab that autograph at the Autograph Alley.

Trappers Loop: East of Ogden along Hwy 167 from Huntsville to Mountain Green is this scenic stretch of road that is familiar to many bicyclists in Weber and Morgan Counties.  With its wide, unobstructed views, the top of Trappers Loop will give spectators a great viewing point to see the racers suffer up this Category 3 climb.


Big Mountain:  Located within pedaling distance for recreational cyclists from Salt Lake City, Big Mountain will be the place to watch the race explode on Stage Three.  Big Mountain is very familiar to Salt Lake City cyclists with its four-mile ascent and 1400 feet of climbing.    Expect a small group in the peloton to breakaway over the summit of this Category 2 climb for the final push down Emigration Canyon to the finish.  Small breakaways have been successful in past years of the Tour, so get a close-up view to see who tries to make this happen in 2012.


University of Utah – Research Park:  A short bike or bus ride from anywhere in Salt Lake City and you can be at the exciting finish located at University of Utah Research Park. The race is expected to finish between 3:30-4 p.m., so come early with friends and family to enjoy lots of free activities in the Lifestyle Expo brought to you by Geigerrig, as well as the final day for the teamgive Pedal Power Festival.


Stage Four: XANGO HQ (Lehi) to EnergySolutions Arena, Presented by Adobe

Friday, August 10

Stage Type: Road Race

Total Distance: 134.3 mi. (219.8 km); 4,219 ft. (1,285 meters) of climbing

Typical Conditions: 80º- 90º F

Start: 10:15 a.m.; Estimated Finish: 3:45 p.m.

Start Location and Vivint Autograph Alley: 

XANGO HQ, 3098 Executive Parkway, Lehi: 9:15-10:00 a.m.

Finish Line, EnergySolutions Arena Plaza: 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m. 

Lifestyle Expo, brought to you by Geigerrig 

Bike Valet

teamgive Pedal Power Festival

Music provided by Fictionist

Like last year’s Stage 2, this year’s Stage 4 kicks off at Xango headquarters in Lehi. But  that’s where the similarity ends. Friday’s 136-mile race is a certified monster. Before they finally cross the finish line at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, racers will first venture west along the venerable Pony Express route, circle back east, then head north through ranches, farms, suburbia and, at last, the urban landscape of Salt Lake City. Look for a nearly complete peloton to arrive–in full sprint mode–in downtown Salt Lake.

Just after leaving Utah County, the Tour caravan will get a Utah Highway Patrol escort on the brand new, 15-mile Mountain View Corridor. Scheduled for a late-2012 opening, the Tour will be the first and only non-construction traffic allowed on the route. Once in Salt Lake, make sure to leave time to visit the spectacular, new City Creek Center, jewel in the crown of the city’s $1 billion redevelopment project.


EnergySolutions Arena (Downtown Salt Lake City):  The place to be on Friday afternoon in Salt Lake City will be EnergySolutions Arena.  Tens of thousands of fans are expected to line 300 West in anticipation of a blistering sprint finish.  But will the strong winds in the valleys of Salt Lake and Utah counties throw a wrench into the plans of the sprinters? The Tour of Utah is expected to finish between 3:30 – 4 p.m. MT, so come early and join the party that features Provo-based band Fictionist.



Stage Five: Newpark Town Center (Kimball Junction) to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Presented by Exergy Development Group

Saturday, August 11

Stage Type: Road Race: Queen Stage 

Total Distance & Elevation: 101.1 mi. (162.8 km); 10,000 ft. (3,048 meters) of climbing

Typical Conditions: 80º- 90º F

Start: 11:10 a.m.; Estimated Finish: 3:50 p.m. 

Start Location and Vivint Autograph Alley: Newpark Town Center, Kimball Junction, Park City exit from I-80 10:10-11:00 a.m.

Finish Line, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort: 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m. and Lifestyle Expo, brought to you by Geigerrig 

For the third year running, Stage 5 of the Tour of Utah (also called the “Queen” stage) will cross four counties, climb nearly two miles and traverse a full 100 miles of the toughest, most breathtaking cycling terrain anywhere in the world. Unlike the last two years, racers will journey from Kimball Junction to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort knowing they still have one brutal mountain stage left before the final GC is determined. Whoever crosses the Snowbird finish line in first position will likely pull on the leader’s jersey. Careful what you wish for: Defending it on Sunday could be the most difficult competitive challenge they’ll ever face.

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort opened in 1971 with three lifts, the Tram, the Lodge at Snowbird, and the Snowbird Center. It averages 500 annual inches of low-density powder snow, and boasts one of the longest ski seasons in North America. Come up early on Saturday, and ride the Tram to Hidden Peak for a hike or mountain bike ride. Then grab a bite in one of Snowbird’s mountain restaurants before the stage finish.

Newpark Town Center (Park City):  The start of the Tour’s “Queen Stage” will be at 11:10 a.m. next to Newpark Resort at Kimball Junction. Come early for breakfast and a breathtaking setting.  Autograph Alley will open at 10 a.m. for your best opportunity for photos or signatures from your favorite riders.


Downtown Heber:  Located in the heart of Wasatch County, Heber Valley and its communities are nestled between the Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges.  Heber City, the county seat, is near Wasatch Mountain State Park and is the site of a new Viewing Party location for the Tour of Utah.  Recreational cyclists can register for the 35-mile ride option of The Ultimate Challenge and Heber will be the finish line.  Enjoy the Viewing Party that is adjacent to an XO Communications Sprint Line. Watch the race via Tour Tracker on a big screen TV and enjoy food and beverages at a hospitality tent.


Alpine:  Here is the second Tour of Utah Viewing Party for race fans!  Ride here from Park City in The Ultimate Challenge, or drive up from Salt Lake City early in the afternoon.  Like the Viewing Party in Heber, you’ll be treated to live race action on the big screen and a hospitality area. Alpine City is located on the slopes of the Wasatch Range just north of American Fork. It’s a great spot to watch the cyclists as they make the final push to the final climb on Stage Five.


Tanner Flats in Little Cottonwood Canyon:  If you want to join the biggest party of the summer, then head up to Little Cottonwood Canyon and Tanner Flats.  This section of road leading to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort is where the road pitches to over 10%. Its name is deceiving, since the road is not flat at all and the racers will struggle to stay on their bikes. Thousands of fans line this section of road every year.  Fans arrive first thing in the morning to reserve the best spots. Don’t forget to wear your costume!


Snowbird Resort – Entry 2:  The finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort provides the only mountain- top finish of the 2012 Tour of Utah.  Get the best viewing of the finish by purchasing a VIP pass so you can have a front row seat to the action.

NOTE: Little Cottonwood Canyon will close to uphill and downhill traffic at 2:00 on Saturday.



Stage Six: Park City to Park City, Presented by United Healthcare

Sunday, August 12

Stage Type: Road Race

Total Distance: 76.73 mi. (123.5 km); 6,844 ft. (2,086 meters) of climbing

Typical Conditions: 80º- 90º F

Start:12:10 p.m.; Estimated Finish: 3:45 p.m. 

Start Location and Vivint Autograph Alley: Main St., Park City: 11:10 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Finish Line, Main St., Park City: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Lifestyle Expo, brought to you by Geigerrig 

Whatever legs riders may still have on Sunday morning will be tapioca by the end of Stage 6. This 75-mile loop looks relatively docile on paper. But who races on paper? The route covers terrain the Tour has never visited, including the scenic and private Wolf Creek Ranch, a 2.15-mile climb through pristine stands of aspen and beaver ponds that hits 22 percent. Crossing the Heber Valley, it briefly re-visits Heber City and Midway before winding its way to the base of Empire Pass. This climb that will set the bar for pure heinousness in length and pitch. It’s all down hill from there, with a blistering alpine descent of Royal Street in the Snow Park area of Deer Valley, finishing in front of the Kimball Arts Center on lower Main Street, and the final Tour of Utah podium.

The Main Street brigades of 2012 should easily eclipse 2010’s legendary race crowd. During the 4+ hours the race will be on-course, folks will have plenty of time to sample the dozens of Main Street and Park Avenue eateries and bars, and sample the wares from the merchants in the Park Silly Market.

Downtown Park City:  The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah returns to Downtown Park City on August 12!  Park City knows how to party and it is throwing the biggest party on Main Street since the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Come at 11 a.m. to meet the pro cyclists at Autograph  Alley. The final road race of the week begins at 12:10 p.m. with the cyclists riding ceremonial laps around Old Town before taking on the the 75.4-mile course.


Pine Canyon Rd/Empire Pass: Known locally as the Backside of Guardsman’s, this Hors Categorie (HC) climb up Empire Pass is where the race should be won or lost.  One ProTour racer was quoted as saying it is one of the five hardest climbs in the world.  With several switchbacks surpassing pitches of 20 percent gradient, Empire Pass offers multiple locations where fans can get a firsthand view of the best cyclists on the planet suffering over the hardest climb of the race. Empire Pass can be accessed from Park City, Salt Lake City (via Big Cottonwood Canyon) and Midway.

NOTE: Very limited parking on or near Empire Pass. From Midway: No auto access. Spectators are encouraged to walk or ride their bikes. From Park City:  Limited parking is available on Twisted Branch Road., starting    mile up from the traffic circle at Deer Valley’s Montage Resort. Access closes 11:00 a.m. From Brighton: Empire Pass via Guardsman’s Pass access will close at 11:00 a.m. Cars must have all four tires off the paved road surface, for rider safety.

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  1. When will the nebo loop be added to the tour of Utah?

    You could extend the tour to go from park city down to Provo and then up and over the loop. Have the cyclists stay in Nephi that night, then do a seperate stage where they do the alpine loop to get back to park city.

    Just a thought.


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