5 spots to watch the Tour of Utah

By Celeste Tholen Rosenlof | Posted - Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:27am

7 photos

SALT LAKE CITY — The Tour of Utah started at Brian Head Tuesday, and while you might not be a big enough fan of biking to follow the entire race, watching the world-class cyclists race through portions of Utah is worth the few hours it may take you.

Spend a few hours traveling and watching cyclists ride past you in "America's Toughest Stage Race" at these five places:

Wednesday: Torrey

If you’re around Southern Utah Wednesday, or can take off easily to the area, you will be rewarded not only by an impressive bike race, but by views people come from all over the world to experience.

Route 12 is probably the most beautiful roadway in Utah, offering views of the hoodoos in Bryce National Park, taking you right through the rugged and otherworldly Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and along the cliffs of Capitol Reef. This portion of the race ends at the small town of Torrey, so while you’re waiting for bikes to cross the finish line, check out the community’s views of Capitol Reef.

If you want to venture further south, note that pullouts and trailhead parking in Bryce and Grand Staircase-Escalante parks are for guests only, so spectators need to find parking in pass-through communities. Expect traffic delays through parks, as vehicles will not be allowed to pass racers at any time.

Estimated finish time: 3:45 p.m.

Friday: Reservoir Park

If you want to see cyclists hitting top speeds, set up camp at Reservoir Park. Cyclists will race past the park at nearly 60 mph on their way down Virginia Street.

Friday: State Street

For those who prefer a display of endurance and strength, spectators can watch cyclists climb State Street to the Utah State Capitol up close.

The Salt Lake stage may be the most rewarding, as spectators get to watch cyclists complete the loop five times.

Cyclists race down through the mouth of American Fork Canyon in Tour of Utah 2011. (Photo: Celeste Tholen Rosenlof)

Spectators are advised to ride public transit, bike or walk to the locations, as parking will be extremely limited nearby, and not available on any portion of the course.

Start time: 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: Snowbird Ski Resort

Watch the “Queen Stage” in the cool mountain air at Snowbird. Bikers will finish the steepest climb of the race — more than two miles of altitude — at the ski resort after riding 113 miles through five counties.

Get up there by 2 p.m., as the road closes beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Estimated finish time: 3:45 p.m.

Sunday: Main Street, Park City

Watch cyclists take off from the starting line, or watch them cross the same line that marks their finish on lower Main Street in Park City.

If you want to see speed, the finish line is at the end of an 11 percent gradient, on which riders speed downhill. Again reaching speeds of 60 mph, watching the cyclists is sure to get your adrenaline pumping and your heart racing.

Park at Park City High School and take the shuttle to Main Street.

Start time: 12:15 p.m.

View Tour of Utah in a largermap

Estimated finish time: 3:45 p.m.


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