Rolling through Bryce Canyon National Park and two national monuments for the first time, the 2013 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah professional cycling stage race will be the longest and most difficult in its nine-year history. The August 6-11 event will challenge some of the world’s best professional cycling teams with a total of 586 miles and 43,621 vertical feet of climbing.

At 9,600 feet in elevation, the overall start at Brian Head on Tuesday, August 6, will be the highest starting point for any North American race this season. 

“Featuring the signature red rock country of southern Utah for the first time, there is tremendous anticipation for this year’s race and the new courses. The opportunity to bring our race to these national parks and national monuments is unprecedented for professional cycling. Athletically, the Tour of Utah will truly challenge our riders, while spectators enjoy the competition against the backdrop of the state’s stunning scenery,” said Steve Miller, president of Miller Sports Properties, which organizes the Tour of Utah.

FOX Sports Network will provide a total of 18 hours of national programming, including 12 hours of live coverage. All five road races are scheduled to finish just prior to 4 p.m. MT, which allow for the live FSN broadcast of stage results and awards presentations. The circuit race in Salt Lake City on Friday, August 9 is scheduled for a special time, from 5:30-7 p.m. MT.

Stage One begins in Brian Head, the home of Utah’s highest-elevation ski resort. The 112-mile road race on Tuesday, August 6, begins with a sharp ascent to Cedar Breaks National Monument. The spectacular red rock spires of the Monument contrast sharply with the alpine forest of the Markagunt Plateau as the racers crest the day’s highest point at 10,300 feet.

From there the course descends past Panguitch Lake and the undulating roads of Cedar Canyon, meandering alongside the ancient lava beds and alpine lakes of the Dixie National Forest.

The bikers should be passing through Duck Creek Village around 2 p.m., reaching a summit of 9,600 feet in the shadow of Cedar Breaks National Monument and overlook a portion of Zion National Park. The racers will descend nearly 4,000 feet to the finish in Cedar City.

Stage Two will begin on Wednesday, August 7. in Panguitch and meander through the multi-hued sandstone terrain that has been sculpted over 325 million years into hoodoos, spires, mesas, cliffs and slot canyons. This is the longest day for the pro peloton at 131 miles and will include 9,877 feet of elevation gain. The road race will pass through portions of Bryce Canyon National Park, the first time the race has entered a national park. It will also cross through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the nation’s largest national monument. This stretch will use Highway 12, one of America’s top scenic byways. The second day of racing will conclude with a climb of Boulder Mountain, and a sweeping descent into Torrey. This part of Wayne County rests in the shadow of Capitol Reef National Park.

The 119 miles of racing for Stage Three on Thursday, August 8, begins in Richfield. This is a relatively flat day, and is the second longest stage of the week.

Stage Four reprises the popular circuit race in Salt Lake City on Friday, August 9. The 33.8-mile version will start at 5:30 p.m., and include five laps from the capitol, past the University of Utah, and through the historic Avenues community.

Saturday, August 10, is Stage Five, covering 10,611 feet of climbing over 113 miles. This year marks the sixth consecutive finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort for this stage. The stage features a new start at Snowbasin Resort, for the first time. Stage Five will cross five counties and pass six ski resorts. Following a 14-mile descent throughBig Cottonwood Canyon, the route concludes with the final legendary six-mile climb into Little Cottonwood Canyon for the finish at Snowbird Resort.

For Stage Six, the Tour of Utah returns to Park City for the grand finale on Sunday, August 11. Following a blistering descent down the 11 percent Mine Road, the 78-mile road race expects to finish in front of massive crowds in historic Park City on lower Main Street.

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues to be free to all spectators. For more information about host cities and venues, visit the Tour’s website, www.tourofutah.com.