(Courtesy Tour of Utah)
Cyclists from all across the U.S. can now make plans to be vertically challenged for one special day in August. In conjunction with the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE returns on Saturday, August 6. The Ultimate Challenge is a non-competitive bicycle ride which tests amateurs to a 96-mile route covering more than 10,088 feet of climbing with a summit finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. This is the second year for the event, which kicks off festivities for the professional race, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah held the following week, August 9-14, 2011.
The Ultimate Challenge, “America’s Toughest One-Day Cycling Adventure”, will cap participation at 500 entries. The event is being sponsored by 1st Endurance, Larry H. Miller Toyota and teamgive.org. Organizers will have five hydration and rest stops along the route, and bicycle mechanics will also be provided along the route to provide assistance if needed. Several registration options will be available, starting at $150, which will include a souvenir t-shirt, ride support, rest stops and a post-ride meal at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. All route details and registration information will be available in April at www.tourofutah.com/challenge.
“Last year was a huge success for this event, allowing recreational cyclists a chance to experience the same course, and the same suffering, as the pros. We are holding the ride on the Saturday prior to race week to make sure that these athletes enjoy the full day, after all, it’s a ride not a race. These same riders are fans of the Tour, so they’ll be able to scout out a great place along the route to watch the best pros in the world battle it out for the championship,” said Steve Miller, president of the Utah Cycling Partnership, which owns and operates the Tour of Utah.
The route of The Ultimate Challenge mirror the scenic and epic climbs that the professional cyclists will race the following weekend on Stage 5 of the 2011 Tour of Utah, which is expected to be the decisive battle for the yellow jersey on August 14. Participants in the Ultimate Challenge will ascend four major climbs on the ride. One of the first major climbs is the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, an 8.7-mile climb that crosses Mt. Timpanogos near Sundance Resort. The final climb from Sandy City up Little Cottonwood Canyon covers 3,000 vertical feet in six miles, with 8-12 percent gradients up to the finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.