SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (May 9, 2013) – Ten professional cycling teams have accepted invitations to compete at the 2013 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, August 6-11, 2013. Five of these squads are Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) ProTeams, which are all currently competing at the Giro d’Italia, one of the three Grand Tours of the UCI WorldTour. Two UCI Pro Continental and three Continental teams are part of the early announcement today by race organizers for more than half of the elite field of competition for “America’s Toughest Stage RaceTM”.
Four of the ProTeams confirmed for the Tour of Utah are in the Top 10 of the UCI WorldTour rankings, including RadioShack-Leopard of Luxembourg, which won the team classification in Utah last year. Behind the fourth-ranked RadioShack-Leopard team are two U.S.-based teams, No. 5 Team Garmin-Sharp and No. 7 BMC Racing Team. Orica-GreenEDGE, the first ProTeam out of Australia, will be making its debut at the Tour of Utah. Other inaugural entrants include MTN-Qhubeka from South Africa, the top-rated team from the UCI Africa Tour, and Funvic Brasilinvest-São José dos Campos from Brazil, the top-rated team from the UCI America Tour.
There are seven countries represented to date for teams competing in the 2013 Larry H. Tour of Utah. Eight of these 10 teams will be racing next week at the Amgen Tour of California*, the second UCI stage race in North America this year. The final field of 16 professional teams at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will be confirmed at the end of May, and rosters will be released at the end of July.
UCI ProTeams Confirmed (world rankings as of April 28, 2013)
- RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK* (Luxembourg), No. 4 on UCI WorldTour
- Team Garmin-Sharp* (USA), No. 5 on UCI WorldTour first
- BMC Racing Team* (USA), No.7 on UCI WorldTour
- Cannondale Pro Cyling* (Italy), No. 9 on UCI WorldTour
- Orica-GreenEDGE Cycling Team* (Australia), No. 13 on UCI WorldTour
*denotes team racing at Amgen Tour of California
“It’s very impressive to have such a strong, world-class field of professional cycling teams making Utah part of their race schedule each year,” said Steve Miller, chief operating officer of Miller Sports Properties which organizes the Tour of Utah. “Cycling fans should be excited to see a solid group of top-rated pro teams from around the globe, including tremendous new teams from Brazil, South Africa and Australia. We expect to complete the invitation process in the coming weeks with some of the top domestic teams, so the competition this year should be the best yet.”
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah was elevated in 2011 by the UCI, the international governing body of the sport of cycling, to a 2.1-rated stage race. It continues as one of the top UCI stage races in North America this year. The Tour of Utah will be the first weeklong UCI stage race for athletes in North America following the Tour de France, and will start for the first time in southern Utah. Stage One of the Tour of Utah will begin on Tuesday, August 6, from Brian Head to Cedar City. The overall finish for Stage Six will take place on Sunday, August 11, with start and finish hosted by Park City.
Established in 2012, the Champion System Pro Cycling Team is Asia’s first UCI Professional Continental team. The second-year squad is comprised of top riders from China and Asia, as well as experienced pros from a total of 14 countries. It is the second year the team has raced at the Tour of Utah. Five national champions ride for the Champion System team: Chinese Road Champion, Xu Gang; Korean Road Champion, Chanjea Jang; Canadian Road Champion, Ryan Roth; Irish Road Champion, Matt Brammeier and Japanese time trial Champion, Ryota Nishizono. Utah’s Burke Swindlehurst, who is a four-time Top 10 finisher of the Tour of Utah as a professional cyclist, serves as the sport director for the team.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung is the first-ever UCI-registered Professional Continental cycling team from the continent of Africa. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, this pro team has athletes from five African countries (South Africa, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Algeria and Rwanda), as well as Germany, Lithuania, Italy and Spain. The team name, Qhubeka, is an Nguni (Zulu, Xhosa) word that means to carry on or to move forward. This title sponsor alongside MTN, Africa’s largest telecommunications company, is a volunteer organization which looks to help rural communities move forward and progress by giving bicycles to children in return for work done to improve their environment and their community. This is the first time the team has raced in the United States.
For the first time in the nine-year history of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah professional cycling event, the race will span almost the entire length of Utah from the red rock country near world-famous Bryce Canyon National Park in the south to the renowned ski resorts of the Wasatch Front in the north. In the coming weeks the Tour plans to announce the detailed routes and race mileage for all six stages.
About the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Deemed “America’s Toughest Stage RaceTM,” the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is a weeklong, professional stage race for the best cycling teams in the world. Now in its ninth year of racing, the 2013 Tour of Utah will include some of the state’s most beautiful and challenging terrain with lush forests and red rock spires in the south and the urban corridor and epic peaks along Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains in the north. In 2012 the race covered more than 500 miles and 38,000 vertical feet of climbing. The Tour of Utah is scheduled to take place August 6-11, 2013, as a UCI 2.1-rated stage race. A team presentation event will be held on August 5 in Cedar City. The event is owned and operated by the Utah Cycling Partnership. Larry H. Miller Group of Companies continues as the title sponsor. Official Partners of the 2013 event include the Utah Office of Tourism, an agency of Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the Utah Sports Commission. For more information about the event, visit www.tourofutah.com.