Tour of Utah comes to South Jordan for inaugural start and finish
A rider interacts with spectators during a past tour (Jonathan Devich/Epic Images)
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The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah begins July 31, kicking off its 13th year. The 2017 version of the annual bicycle race spans 600 miles with 36,525 feet of climbing. In 2015, the event became a 2.HC-rated UCI sanctioned stage race, making it one of the finest in North America. Of the 10 Utah cities hosting a start or a finish line, six of them are doing so for the first time. South Jordan is one of the new cities to join the Tour and will be hosting both a start and finish.
On Aug. 3, South Jordan’s inaugural start to the Tour’s Stage 4 will be on Redwood Road, using 11400 south to reach the Mountain View Corridor. Stage 4 covers new territory for the Tour of Utah, crossing 125 miles in Salt Lake, Utah and Tooele counties. The stage will venture into Rush Valley and onto a surprising jaunt of terrain for riders. They will be taken over 10 miles of maintained dirt and gravel on Faust Road, which will connect them to the old Pony Express Trail in the West Desert. The course will cross Five Mile Pass and return through Utah County via SR 73 through Cedar Fort. There will be 4,000 feet of elevation gain on this leg of the race and should provide a fantastic finish back in South Jordan with the final 3 miles circling South Jordan City Park.
South Jordan City leaders are excited to play host to their portion of the race. It brings something different to the city and its residents. City officials are planning a kick-off party on Aug. 2, the evening before the race, at the park. There will be activities for everyone, including families and children. City leaders also consider themselves lucky to be in the position to host both a start and finish to the only internationally sanctioned cycling competition for men in North America.
“This is something new and we are excited to do it,” said Tina Brown, South Jordan City’s communication specialist. “There will be a lot of participants, and our residents can really enjoy it.”
Tour of Utah organizers approached South Jordan Mayor David Alvord earlier in the year, and there was definite interest on South Jordan’s part. The opportunity to expose residents to such a high-class competition was something city leaders were eager to provide.
“I knew it would be a great opportunity for our city,” Alvord said. “We have a real gem, and the more people that see it, the better. The Start-Finish was optional, but we chose to host both to maximize the exposure for the city.”
In addition to South Jordan’s participation and festivities, the Tour of Utah will provide all sorts of opportunities for surrounding communities to witness the event. The Heber Valley will return for a stage start that also includes the Ultimate Challenge Citizens Ride presented by University of Utah Health. Logan will serve as the race’s headquarters for the overall start, including the team presentation, which is an event spectators are encouraged to attend. The race is a great thing for Utah and South Jordan residents as well as the local economies.
“The Tour of Utah really encourages each host to create a sense of community,” Tour of Utah Executive Director Jenn Andrs said. “No two stages of the Tour of Utah look exactly the same, and we encourage each community to play to their strengths to bring out the crowds. It is a free event, open to the public and offers great activities throughout the day – kids’ races, expo, etc. South Jordan has really embraced this opportunity and is planning some really cool activities leading up to and during Stage 4.”