SALT LAKE CITY — The Tour de France wraps up on Sunday and in a matter of weeks many of those riders will be coming this way for an all-new Tour of Utah, replacing the Alps with the Arches.
Steve Miller, president of Miller Sports Properties and the man responsible for the Tour of Utah, sat down with KSL TV to talk about the race, the sport and the aftermath of losing it's biggest star, Lance Armstrong.
"I don't think that he ruined it," Miller said. "I think cycling is bigger than Lance. I don't think that Lance was bigger than cycling."
When asked what he would say to Armstrong if he was in the same room, Miller said he'd jump on the opportunity to talk to him.
"It's an unfortunate thing," Miller said. " There were a lot of people that got hurt. There was a lot of collateral damage if you will, but I'm glad to see that he's not pulling cycling down, that cycling is on firm enough footing that it's going to survive.
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is on firm footing as well with the Miller family's financial backing. It will extend its footprint to the entire state with a first time course that includes northern, central and southern Utah."
"That's one of the things that makes the Tour of Utah unique," Miller said. "With the Utah Jazz, we have to play in our building. Miller Motorsports Park, we can't take that $100 million facility to the public, they have to go there."
Miller got his first taste of the energy and excitement at the Tour de France and he hopes Utahns will drink up that same excitement in the local race.
"It's like a concert getting ready to begin and that energy just builds," Miller said. "Then you see those athletes coming down. To see the energy and the power that they're putting into that machine, that's going to get them across the finish line. It's really exciting."
The trickle down from the event encourages younger kids to exercise and ride bikes, an issue that's important for Miller and his own family.
"That's one of the nice side effects of this. It's raising awareness on health and wellness and activity and healthy lifestyles," Miller said. "If we can make a difference to other people and their health and well-being, we can have a positive economic impact on the state and the communities that we take the race to."
The Tour of Utah begins Aug 6. at Brian Head. It will go through downtown Salt Lake City on Aug. 9 and will finish in Park City the following Sunday.