Three Past Champions Among Field of 117 Pro Cyclists Announced for Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
Riders Represent 24 Countries for 15th Edition of “America’s Toughest Stage Race”
SALT LAKE CITY (July 31, 2019) – A total of 117 athletes representing 24 countries are expected to battle across 477 miles of northern Utah at the 2019 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on Aug. 12-18. The preliminary rosters have been confirmed for the 17 men’s teams invited to compete in the weeklong stage race. Racing begins Monday, Aug.12 at Snowbird Resort with the Prologue, and concludes Sunday, Aug. 18 in Park City. Known as “America’s Toughest Stage Race,” the Tour of Utah features 37,882 feet of elevation gain for the seven days.
Photo Credit: Tour of Utah
The UCI 2.HC-sanctioned stage race boasts an all-star field composed of national champions, Grand Tour veterans and Tour of Utah winners. A total of 22 athletes have proven themselves as national champions in road racing disciplines. Seventeen athletes have competed in one or more of the three-week Grand Tours of professional cycling — Tour de France, Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a España. Among eight of these riders who raced at this year’s Giro, 24-year-old Italian Giulio Ciccone of Trek-Segafredo captured a Stage 16 victory and claimed the King of the Mountain (KOM) classification title. He also held the yellow jersey at the Tour de France for two days.
Ten riders have accounted for 18 stage wins and nine classification titles at the Tour of Utah since 2011, the year the event was sanctioned internationally by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). Among the Tour of Utah alumni are three General Classification (G.C.) champions with Joe Dombrowski (USA) of EF Education First in 2015; Lachlan Morton (Australia) of EF Education First in 2016; and Rob Britton (Canada) of Rally UHC Cycling in 2017.
The field of riders includes two Utah natives. Taylor “TJ” Eisenhart of Arapahoe l Hincapie powered by BMC returns for a fourth time. His best finish in the Tour of Utah was seventh overall in 2016. The Lehi native finished 20th on G.C. last year. His teammate Tanner Putt from Park City will race the Tour of Utah for a fifth time. He last raced in his home state in 2016 with UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling and had a Top 10 finish on Stage 1.
“The Tour of Utah is a world-class sporting event as evident by the impressive field of riders from 24 countries,” said John Kimball, managing director of the Tour of Utah. “The resumé of the peloton includes former Tour of Utah overall champions and stage winners, road racing national champions and riders who have competed internationally in the Grand Tours of professional cycling. Fresh off the finish of the Tour de France, we are poised to host an exciting, highly-competitive cycling event in scenic Utah.”
2019 Tour of Utah Teams
303 Project (USA)
Arapahoe l Hincapie powered by BMC (USA)
Dauner l AKKON (Germany)
DC Bank Pro Cycling Team (Canada)
EF Education First (USA)
Elevate – KHS Pro Cycling (USA)
Hagens Berman Axeon (USA)
Israel Cycling Academy (Israel)
Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM (Italy)
NIPPO-Vini Fantini-Faizanè (Italy)
Rally UHC Cycling (USA)
Team BridgeLane (Australia)
Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling presented by Maxxis (USA)
Worthy Pro Cycling (Canada)
America’s Toughest One Day Gran Fondo!
Earlier on Saturday August 17, two gran fondo-style bicycle rides will roll out from the same start area. The Ultimate Challenge presented by University of Utah Health, now in its ninth year, offers a unique cycling event for amateurs to ride one of the demanding mountain courses used by the pros. This year Sunday’s Stage 6 route will be used by The Ultimate Challenge participants and include a shorter 44-mile option. There will be timed sections on the 94-mile route at Wolf Creek Ranches and over Empire Pass. The longer route begins at 10:30 a.m. and the shorter route begins at 12:30 p.m. For registration ($95-$140) and more information, visit www.tourofutah.com/experience/ultimate-challenge.
EF Education First features two past Tour of Utah champions Dombrowski and Morton among a stacked seven-rider roster. Past Tour of Utah standouts include Americans Tejay van Garderen, a two-time stage winner including last year’s Prologue in St. George, and Alex Howes, the Best Young Rider at the 2009 Tour of Utah and reigning U.S. Pro Road Race national champion. Dani Martínez, the reigning individual time trial (ITT) champion of Colombia, was the Best Young Rider at the 2015 Tour of Utah, competing for Team Colombia.
Trek-Segafredo will carry a total of six riders. Italian Ciccone scored a Stage 6 win at Snowbird Resort at the 2017 Tour of Utah. He finished sixth in the G.C. that year. Supporting Ciccone will be Americans Kiel Reijnen (USA) and Peter Stetina. Reijnen is a two-time stage winner in Utah and finished third on Stage 4 in Salt Lake City in 2018. Stetina rode to a third-place finish on Stage 5 last year, vaulting him to 10th on G.C.
UCI Pro Continental Teams
Rally UHC Cycling is led by Utah G.C. champion Britton. All seven riders have past experience in Utah, including Americans Gavin Mannion and Ty Magner. Mannion, riding for UnitedHealthcare, finished second overall at the Tour of Utah in 2017, while Magner, representing Holowesko-Citadel, captured the Stage 1 victory that same year.
Israel Cycling Academy returns to Utah for a third year. Former Colombian Road Race champion Edwin Avila is a featured climber, who grabbed two third-place finishes at the 2018 Tour of Utah. All-rounder Ben Hermans of Belgium finished second overall at last year’s Tour of Utah, as well as fourth overall in 2014 when he was racing for BMC Racing Team. Reigning ITT champion of Israel, Guy Niv, is one of two riders fresh off the Giro d’Italia.
Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM will be racing in Utah for the first time. On its seven-rider roster are several riders with Grand Tour experience, including Italian Edoardo Zardini. Finishing fourth on G.C. at this year’s Tour of Hungary, he previously raced at the 2015 Tour of Utah for Bardiani-CSF. A 2017 Utah alumnus is Italian Simone Velasco, who captured a big win at the one-day UCI Trofeo Laigueglia in Italy. Colombian Dayer Quintana, the younger brother of Giro and Vuelta champion Nairo Quintana, moved from the Movistar Team to the Neri Sottoli squad this season. He finished seventh on G.C. at the 2019 Giro di Sicilia.
Hagens Berman Axeon will be led by 21-year-old João Almeida of Portugal. He is the reigning Under-23 national champion in both the road race and ITT. The team also features the youngest rider in this year’s race, 19-year-old American Kevin Vermaerke. Coming off a 2018 season where he finished eighth overall in the men’s Junior Road Race world championships, he took the U23 crown at this year’s prestigious Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
NIPPO-Vini Fantini-Faizanè brings two Italian riders who have had previous success in Utah. Marco Canola, who had two Top 10 finishes at the Giro d’Italia this year, was a stage winner in Salt Lake City in 2017. His teammate, Ivan Santaromita, who also raced the Giro in May, finished 18th on G.C. at the 2017 Tour of Utah. Sho Hatsuyama, a former road race champion of Japan, returns to Utah for a second time.
UCI Continental Teams
Worthy Pro Cycling, which raced three times in Utah as Silber Pro Cycling, features American sprinter Travis McCabe, who captured two stage victories in Utah in 2019. He has earned the most hardware from the Tour of Utah since 2016, with a total of four stage wins and two overall Sprint titles. He also is the reigning U.S. Pro Criterium national champion. Among his teammates who have finished high in the G.C. at Utah are Serghei Tvetcov (Romania), third overall in 2017 with Jelly Belly and 14th overall in 2018 with UHC; Jonny Clarke (Australia), seventh overall in 2017 with UHC; and Keegan Swirbul (USA), seventh overall in 2018 with Jelly Belly.
Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling is led by Canadian James Piccoli, who won this year’s G.C. title at the Tour of the Gila. He finished 10th overall at the 2017 Tour of Utah. American Eric Young, who took the silver medal at this year’s U.S. Pro Criterium championships, has won two stages in Utah (2014, 15). Mexican riders Ulises Castillo and Alfredo Rodriguez have both earned podium spots in Utah. Castillo finished second on Stage 1 in 2018, and second overall in the Sprint classification. Rodriguez finished second on Stage 4 in 2017.
Canel’s-Specialized is the only Mexican club with a Continental license and makes its inaugural appearance in Utah. The team will be led by Óscar Sánchez, who won the KOM title at the 2019 Tour de Beauce. The team also features several national champions representing Mexico, including the reigning Road Race national champion Ignacio Prado. He also finished second in the ITT championship.
Aevolo has the youngest roster in Utah, with the average age of 19.7 years for its seven riders. Only one rider, 21-year-old American Alex Hoehn, has previously raced in Utah. In the Best Young Rider classification, he finished fourth in 2017 and 2018. Last year, racing as the U23 Road Race national champion, he finished 17th in the G.C. American teammate Cade Bickmore won a 2019 U.S. Collegiate Varsity national title in the road race for Marian University. Nineteen-year-old Gabriel Rojas is the reigning U23 ITT champion of Costa Rica.
Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling presented by Maxxis is the longest-running professional bicycle racing team in the U.S. Competing for a seventh time in Utah, the team features an All-American roster. The single rider with Tour of Utah experience is Stephen Bassett, who rode previously for Jamis and Silber pro teams. This year, he won the G.C. and KOM titles at the Joe Martin Stage Race and took the silver medal at the U.S. Pro Road Race championship in his hometown of Knoxville, Tenn. He will be joined by Samuel Boardman, who placed third on G.C. at the 2019 San Dimas Stage Race, and Quinten Kirby, who won a silver medal at 2018 U.S. U23 Criterium championships.
Arapahoe l Hincapie powered by BMC features the two Utahns, Eisenhart and Putt. American Brendan Rhim took the G.C. crown and Sprint classification title at the 2019 Tour de Beauce. He was sixth overall at the 2019 U.S. Pro Road Race championship. Former Latvian ITT champion Andzs Flaksis finished third this year in his country’s Road Race championship.
Team BridgeLane returns for a second year, featuring seven riders from Australia and New Zealand. Only Hayden McCormick has seen action in Utah riding with One Pro Cycling in 2016. He won the bronze medal at this year’s New Zealand ITT championships, and was sixth in the road race event. Teammate Chris Harper, who took second in the 2019 Australian Road Race championship, captured G.C. titles this year at the Tour of Japan and Le Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc.
303 Project returns with six of its seven riders having experience at the Tour of Utah. South African Johann van Zyl was third in the KOM classification in 2015 racing for MTN-Qhubeka. Flavio de Luna, a former Mexican ITT champion, finished 19th overall at the 2015 Tour of Utah for Team Smartstop.
DC Bank Pro Cycling Team makes its first appearance in Utah. Former U.S. Pro Road Race champion Greg Daniel won the KOM classification at the 2015 Tour of Utah while riding for Axeon-Hagens Berman. At the 2017 Tour of Utah, Eder Frayre of Mexico finished 17th on G.C. riding for Elevate-KHS. This year, American Matthew Zimmer has been on form with second overall at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and fourth overall at the Joe Martin Stage Race.
Dauner l AKKON also makes its debut at the Tour of Utah. Six of its seven riders are from Germany, including 36-year-old veteran Philipp Mamos, the oldest rider in the Tour. The other five German riders are 23 years old and younger, led by Dominik Bauer, who was fourth in the 2019 U23 Road Race national championships. The lone American is Oliver Flautt, who won the AutoBahn Country Club Road Race at the 2018 Intelligentsia Cup.
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique professional sports in the world today. It remains a 2.HC-rated stage race on the UCI America Tour, making it one of the premier events for professional cycling teams in North America. The Tour is also part of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour.