7 days agoby Dane Cash

Britton aims to conquer Utah, again

Rally UHC Cycling ready to take on the gradients, the altitude, and the heat at the Tour of Utah

Rally UHC Cycling enters the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah next week determined to reclaim the title Rob Britton won for the team in 2017. Backing Britton, the second-year Professional Continental team brings a strong roster filled with previous Utah successes that is ready to contend against a formidable WorldTour presence.

The roster for “America’s Toughest Stage Race”, running from August 12 -18, also features 2017 runner-up Gavin Mannion, former sprint stage winner Ty Magner, and Kyle Murphy, who finished third into Payson City in 2018. Emerson Oronte and Nigel Ellsay will support the GC riders in the mountains and join the always-aggressive Evan Huffman on the hunt for breakaway opportunities.

Team presentation at Snowbird Resort.

“Our entire roster is targeting Utah,” said team director Pat McCarty. “The guys are in great shape following their altitude training camps and are looking to regain their title from 2017.”

This year’s Tour of Utah lives up to the event’s reputation as a challenging race with over 37,000 feet of climbing across seven stages. Especially notable are the opening prologue at Little Cottonwood Canyon, the grueling Powder Mountain finishing climb on stage 2, and the sixth and final stage in Park City.

This year’s route is centered mostly on Salt Lake City and the surrounding area, which should make for a great opportunity for fans to enjoy the action.

“They’ve done a great job of creating a very difficult course that’s also very spectator friendly. I think they’ve also gotten rid of anything that might have resembled an easy day,” Britton said.

“Powder Mountain is probably the hardest mountain-top finish in North America. I can’t think of anything that even comes close. You’ll know your GC after that stage.”

Looking to contend for the overall win as he did in 2017 when he scored what he calls “the biggest result of my career to this day,” Britton is eager to put his preparation to the test.

“I’ve relaxed a lot and not put as much pressure on myself which has really allowed me to focus on the process of getting ready and then just doing what I do,” he said. “As long as I show up and I’ve done all the work, I can’t be disappointed with the outcome.

Britton rolling out with teammates ahead of the race.

The grueling gradients and the soaring temperatures along the 760 km journey from start to finish will put the entire peloton to the test, but a strong Rally UHC Cycling lineup has proven experience tackling the Tour of Utah.

“At Utah, you know you’re going to get a lot of super hot days, tons of climbing and on top of all of that, you’re at altitude,” said Britton. “Any one of those things is hard but the combination makes for a brutally difficult week of racing and that’s why it’s the hardest race in North America.”

Stage details (August 12 – 18)
Prologue: Snowbird Resort (3.3 miles | 5.3km), short time trial
Stage 1: North Logan (86.9 miles | 139.9km), hilly stage
Stage 2: Brigham City › Powder Mountain (84.4 miles | 135.8km), mountain top finish
Stage 3: Antelope Island State Park › North Salt Lake (85.9 miles | 138.3km), hilly stage
Stage 4: Salt Lake City (54 miles | 87 km), hilly stage
Stage 5: Canyons Village at Park City Mountain (79.5 miles | 128km), hilly stage
Stage 6: Park City (78.3 miles | 126km), mountain stage

Live coverage from start to finish will be available free online with Tour Tracker. You can also download the TourTracker app and view the detailed scheduled here.

FoxSportsNetwork (FSN) will air delayed coverage of the race each evening from 5 pm – 7 pm MDT.