SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – The 2012 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah professional cycling stage race will feature a total field of 17 teams from around the globe, including a record seven teams from the Tour de France. The UCI WorldTour No. 4-ranked team, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, accepted an invitation to race, and is expected to bring the two-time Tour of Utah champion Levi Leipheimer, who attended high school in Salt Lake City. The final field represents teams registered from nine countries, including two teams from the Netherlands and one team from China, all three first-time entries. Other countries include Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the United States.
The addition of Omega Pharma-QuickStep brings the total number of UCI ProTeams to six in the final field for Utah. A total of five UCI Professional Continental teams have accepted invitations to race in Utah – Champion System Pro Cycling of China, Team Argos-Shimano of the Netherlands, Team SpiderTech powered by C10 of Canada, Team NetApp of Germany, and American team UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling. Six UCI Continental teams round out the field of 17 for the Tour of Utah, August 7-12, 2012.
This year’s Tour promises to be the most exciting pro racing Utah has ever seen,” said Steve Miller, president of the Tour of Utah. “The demand from teams worldwide for entry in to the race was staggering and we believe we have created a mix that will prove thrilling for spectators and television viewers alike.
“The field this August provides a unique opportunity for Utahns and out-of-state visitors to see a level of competition only available in the U.S. a few times a year. To watch these riders battle it out in the Team Time Trial and on the most challenging climbs in North America is an experience not to be missed.”
Partnering six different Host Venues across northern Utah, “America’s Toughest Stage RaceTM” will be the first UCI 2.1-rated stage race for ProTeams in the U.S. following the Tour de France and the 2012 London Olympic Games. The overall start begins in Ogden and the grand finale will finish in Park City. The Tour of Utah also boasts the only professional Team Time Trial (TTT) in the U.S. this year.
UCI ProTeams Confirmed: (world rankings as of June 17, 2012)
• BMC Racing Team (USA), No.9 on UCI WorldTour
• Garmin-Sharp (USA), No. 6 on UCI WorldTour
• Liquigas-Cannondale (ITA), No. 3 on UCI WorldTour
• *Omega Pharma-QuickStep (BEL), No. 4 on UCI WorldTour
• Rabobank Cycling Team (NED), No. 13 on UCI WorldTour
• RadioShack-Nissan-Trek (LUX), No. 10 on UCI WorldTour
UCI Professional Continental Teams Confirmed: (rankings as of June 25, 2012)
• *Champion System Pro Cycling Team (CHN), No. 5 on UCI Asia Tour
• Team Argos-Shimano (NED), No. 2 on UCI Europe Tour
• *Team NetApp (GER), No. 9 on UCI Europe Tour
• *Team SpiderTech powered by C10 (CAN), No. 12 on UCI America Tour
• *UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA), No. 3 on UCI America Tour
UCI Continental Teams Confirmed: (USAC rankings as of May 8, 2012)
• *Bissell Pro Cycling (USA), No. 21 on UCI America Tour; No. 3 on NRC
• *Bontrager Livestrong Cycling Team (USA), No. 5 on NRC
• Competitive Cyclist Racing Team (USA), No. 10 on UCI America Tour; No. 1 on NRC
• EPM-UNE (COL), No.5 on UCI America Tour
• *Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA), No.7 on UCI America Tour; No. 2 on NRC
• *Team Exergy (USA), No. 17 on UCI America Tour; No. 7 on NRC
The athletes will compete for six days across the mountains, valleys and plateaus of Utah, vying for UCI points, award jerseys and a prize purse that totals $127,000. The professional teams are expected to announce their final rosters for the Tour of Utah at the end of July.
In early April, Tour of Utah organizers announced the first eight teams that had been confirmed to participate in this year’s stage race – Liquigas-Cannondale, RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, BMC Racing Team, Garmin-Sharp, Rabobank Cycling Team, Team Argos-Shimano, Competitive Cyclist Racing Team, and EPM-UNE. Seven of the teams (all six UCI ProTeams and Team Argos-Shimano) are currently competing at the Tour de France.
“The Tour of Utah is very important for American cycling. It’s a very big, international stage race that draws the best riders in the world. It’s billed as ‘America’s Toughest Stage Race,’ and I believe the courses reflect that,” said two-time Tour of Utah champion (2010-11) Leipheimer, who is currently 19th on G.C. in the Tour de France for Omega Pharma-QuickStep.