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Tour of Utah rides through Payson

Aug 10, 2018 04:29PM
Tour of Utah riders rolled through Payson, August 8. Payson City Memorial Park was the start and finish for Stage 2 of the Tour of Utah race. Mt. Nebo was the obstacle to beat.

After a12-mile circuit north of Payson into Utah County. The race returned to Payson for a sprint in front of historic Peteetneet Museum, followed by the ascent up Category 1 Mr. Nebo. Riders then descended by into Payson. The route had a total distance of 86 miles of challenging technical rides mixed with beautiful landscapes.

Sepp Kuss, a U.S. rider from Colorado, earned the yellow leader's jersey for his performance in this segment of the race. The 23-year-old went on a solo break Wednesday on the climb up Mount Nebo. He built an advantage of more than a full minute as he crested the summit of the mountain pass 62 miles into the stage. He maintained an advantage of at least 50 seconds the rest of the descent before reaching the finish line.

Memorial Park was alive with excitement and fun in celebration of the event. Activities included an inflatable obstacle course and basketball game, National Guard rock wall and cannon, community mural painting, face painting, balloon artist and a variety of food vendors. Live music added to the festive atmosphere.

A special Fun Ride took place from 1:30-2 p.m. The bicycle ride was open to everyone ages 9 and older. A  Sprint to the Finish Kids’ Bike Race was held at 1:00 p.m. near the finish. Children ages 5 to 12 had the opportunity to race their bicycles near the finish line used by the pros.

The Tour of Utah began Monday with a short Prologue race in St. George. Stage 1 began in Cedar City on Tuesday and riders toured Cedar Breaks Nat'l Monument in the 101-mile leg. After Stage 2 in Payson, riders continued on to Stage 3 on Thursday, 116 miles from Antelope Island to Layton. On Friday, riders tackled 10 laps of a 6.8-mile course through downtown Salt Lake City. Stage 5, on Saturday, will see riders climb up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird Resort. On Sunday, Stage 6 will take riders through the towns of Summit County for a big finish on Park City's Main Street.

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is a 2.HC-rated UCI stage race, making it one of the top professional cycling events in North America. The annual August event now attracts worldwide attention as the top international cycling event that follows the Tour de France. Nearly a decade since its debut, the Tour of Utah stands shoulder to shoulder with the most prestigious professional bicycle stage race events.