SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Tour of Utah has been reclassified as a UCI ProSeries cycling race as part of the reorganization of the sport’s professional governing body. The change means some of cycling’s biggest names may be coming to Utah.
The Tour of Utah was previously classified in the Continental Circuit, the third and last tier for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). As part of the reorganization the circuits, the Tour of Utah is now classified in the second tier, just below the top level, which includes the Grand Tour races.
The shuffling gives the Tour of Utah a bigger platform to stand on and will invite more of cycling’s star teams and names.
How does the UCI operate?
The UCI is split into three divisions. The top division is called the UCI WorldTour, and includes events such as the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España.
The second division is called the UCI ProSeries, which the Tour of Utah has now been promoted to, and consists of teams from both the World Tour and the ProSeries.
Finally, there is the UCI Continental Circuit, which “will remain the cornerstone of our sport in their respective regions,” according to UCI.org. Before Thursday’s announcement, the Tour of Utah was classified on the continental circuit as a UCI American Tour.
The move to the UCI ProSeries means teams and riders from events such as the Tour de France will now come to the Beehive State and compete on the Tour of Utah.
What does this mean for Utah?
“We are thrilled for this designation,” said John Kimball, managing director of the tour. “Our placement on the calendar of events will better allow us to attract top tier riders and WorldTour teams.”
The Tour of Utah is one of only two events based in North America on the 54-race UCI road calendar, and of the two, it’s the only UCI ProSeries stage race. The other North American UCI ProSeries event is the Maryland Cycling Classic, hosted in Baltimore every September.
The 2020 race has been scheduled for August 3-9. Tour officials said over 400,000 spectators watched the six-stage race in 2019, with many more watching national television coverage.
“As a crowd favorite and one of the most successful races on U.S. soil, elevating the event to this level will provide great opportunities for U.S. riders and reward a very supportive cycling community,” said Chuck Hodge, chief of racing and events for USA Cycling.
In 2019, race stages included Snowbird Resort, North Logan City, Brigham City, Powder Mountain Resort, Antelope Island State Park, North Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Canyons Village at Park City Mountain, and Park City.
Stage locations for 2020 have not been announced.