Professional cycling teams tear through Sanpete during Tour of Utah staged race
By Robert Stevens
MANTI—Scores of professional cyclists raced up US 89 and through much of Sanpete County before they reached Mt. Nebo, where a grueling 3,000-foot vertical climb awaited them as the finale of the third stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah bicycle race.
At the end of the week-long, staged race, Lachlan Morton of Team Jelly-Belly-Maxxis won the individual category and BMC Racing Team won the team standings.
The race, now in its 12th year, is referred to in some cycling circles as “America’s toughest stage race” for reasons like the climb up Mt. Nebo, which reaches a crest of over 9,000 feet in total elevation.
Starting in Zion Canyon Village and ending a full week later in Park City, the staged race covers 705 miles of racing and 52,825 feet of climbing before anyone crosses the finish line.
During the stage three portion that, in part, took teams northward across a long stretch of US 89, cyclists traveled 119 miles from Richfield to Payson on Aug. 3. That day, the teams and their support vehicles passed through Centerfield, Sterling, Manti, Ephraim, Chester, Moroni and Fountain Green, before making the ascent up Mt. Nebo and cresting it to end the stage in Payson.
A total of 16 men’s professional cycling teams competed, bringing over 120 athletes from 23 different countries to the race.
Last year the winner was Joe Dombrowski (USA) of Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team. The same year, the event was elevated to a 2.HC-rated stage race by the International Cycling Union, making it one of North America’s premier cycling events.