Another Great Tour of Utah

Even though I’m not a road cyclist, I love to watch a good road bike race. I always make a point of watching as much of the Tour de France as I can. Being from there and all.

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Park City hosts stages of a similar race, the annual Tour of Utah. I make certain that I don’t miss this race when it comes to town. Especially on the day when the race starts and ends on Park City’s Historic Main Street.

15 ToU Stage 7 Map 07-14-2015

Just like the Tour de France ends up parading the Parisian Champs-Élysées before coming to a close, the Tour of Utah does the same in Park City.


My wife and I went very early in the afternoon on Sunday, August 9, to visit the various vendors that were on the upper section of Main Street and to secure a good vantage point. We marveled at the Scott Sports tent where some bikes were lighter than air.


Upper Main Street was filled with vendors. We picked up some swag and admired artists writing encouraging slogans, designing all kind of symbols and painting American flags on the asphalt welcoming the competitors.


I’m not good at keeping tabs on who wins each stage and don’t know much about the teams engaged in the competition. This gives me more of a reason to cheer for each of the racers as they pass by the intersection of Heber Avenue and lower Main Street, just yards from the finish line!


These athletes seemed fueled by endless momentum gathered from reaching the top of the last peak (Empire Pass) and barreling down the rest of the course at 75 mph.


Large TV screens kept the spectators in touch with the race. The crowds began roaring a full minute before every single cyclist would make his entry onto Main Street after completing what is said to be the most grueling American cycling stage race.

dv-tou-gThe weather held steady, with some welcome big clouds making the temperature perfect. We promised that we would return next year, as the Tour of Utah will be back on Main Street, Park City, next August 7, 2016. Make sure to mark your calendar!


Tour of Utah Final Stage on Main Street in Park City

race startMain Street is the place to be when the cyclists take off and return for the final stage of the Tour of Utah. Even though many of us have never cycled in a race, we all can relate to the difficult sport.  I can’t even imagine five days of leg burning capped off with a sprint up Guardsman’s Pass in the last 5 kilometers of the race then racing at 50 miles an hour down the steep Empire Pass.  That’s brutal!

cyclistsI love the buzz on Main Street in Park City on race day. I attended last year and was shocked at how we were able to get such a great view of the finish line at this world-class race.  This year my focus was on the start.  My husband and I came early and set up on lower Park Ave so we could watch the riders from the beginning before all the breakaways.

support carsI found myself cheering for the support car from my favorite sponsors as they followed the riders on the course ready with a spare bike and tire.  It seemed a little odd to be cheering for a car in a bike race.  Then again, NASCAR fans across the nation cheer for their favorite cars (sans the drivers) as the support team drives across the country to the next race.  So I figure I am in good company.

subaru boothMain Street was packed with bike enthusiasts discussing the latest equipment and technology with vendors.  The BackCountry and Subaru booths were jammed with fans watching the race on the big screen TVs inside.

We picked up our swag from the vendors including our cowbell that we plan to send to our 3-year-old granddaughter (which she’ll love but just might drive her parents a bit crazy.)  We stocked up on Chapstick, hats, and sunscreen offered by the vendors.  We put our names in to win multiple bike jerseys – we’ll let you know if our names are drawn!  You never know.

backcountry stickMostly we walked away with an appreciation of the teamwork involved in cycling. At first glance it appears cycling is an individual sport. It’s not.  I really had no idea how the Lead-out man, the Peloton, and Domestiques on the team work together to produce a win.  Living in Park City, we have so many opportunities to learn about world-class sports up close and personal that we might not have the chance to see elsewhere.

backcountry tvThis may sound silly but I am looking forward to riding my bike on the trails in Park City using my “Competitive Cyclist” water bottle.  It will be a reminder for me to push myself, take one more hill and pick up my speed due to some inspiration I got on Main Street at the final stage of the Tour of Utah in 2013.