Oakland, CA – The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis has assembled its strongest climbing squad for the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, arguably the hardest climbing race in North America, which begins later today.
“We’re coming to Utah with the deepest roster of climbers we’ve ever had,” said Team Director Mike Tamayo. “This is a great race, the Tour and its title sponsor are team sponsors, so we want to have a good showing for sure.”
The Team will be led by Cascade Classic overall winner Rory Sutherland, as well as Dutchman Marc de Maar, who also had a strong Cascade. The duo will have climbing support from Chris Baldwin, Max Jenkins and Morgan Schmitt.
For the flatter sections and rollers, the Team brings the big engines of Adrian Hegyvary, road captain Tim Johnson and Brad White.
“This is a favorite race of Brad’s,” Tamayo said. “He got our attention here in 2008 with his aggressive riding. He was in every significant move that went that year and he was rewarded with the points jersey.”
Along with a stacked peloton, the Team will face a reconfigured race, with half the stages either changed or new.
While the prologue and first road stage remain the same, the second road stage has an added twist – and difficulty – with the ascent of Mt. Nebo from the opposite side. At 20 miles and 4,500 feet, the general classification picture will become much clearer by the end of the day.
Stage 3 once again will be a 16 km individual time trial at the Miller Motorsports Park outside Salt Lake City. But the biggest change comes in the final two stages. Where previous editions have seen the race mostly decided on the fourth stage to Snowbird, and concluding with a criterium, for 2010 those two stages are flipped.
“We switched these two stages to build the suspense all the way to the end of the race,” said Steve Miller of the Larry H. Miller Group and the Utah Cycling Partnership, which operates the race.
And for the first time, the criterium will be run at altitude in downtown Park City – sitting at over 7,000 feet in elevation – with over 100 feet of climbing per one-mile lap, adding to the challenge – and the race’s reputation as America’s toughest.
UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis for the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, August 17-22:
Marc de Maar
Photo: Jonathan Devich, Epic Images