"It is certainly the most demanding American stage race and I expect it to be one of the most competitive," Team Type 1 Sport Director Ed Beamon said. "But I think it is the type of race that really suits Team Type 1."
The five-day, five-stage race begins Wednesday and is 342 miles (550 km) long and includes 30,000 feet of climbing – nearly all of it taking place at more than 5,000 feet. That figures to favor Ian MacGregor and Fabio Calabria, who live and train at altitude in Colorado, as well as Glen Chadwick, who competed in the Olympic road race in Beijing last week.
Calabria is the only rider in the race with Type 1 diabetes. His solid performances this season – including fifth in the best young rider competition at the Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T – have drawn attention to the Australian who will only turn 21 later this month.
"This may be the biggest mountain event he's done with the team this year, but he is so on top of his diabetes management that I'm sure he is going to play a big part in our attack," Beamon said.
But Team Type 1 will be without the services of Moises Aldape, who was unable to schedule a flight to Salt Lake City from Beijing in time for the start. He represented Mexico in the Olympic road race.
"With Moises and Glen both making their Olympic team selection and in Beijing, we are going to be at a bit of a disadvantage," Beamon said. "Glen arrived early Tuesday morning after a brutally long trip.
"Moises really would have been a dangerous GC (general classification) rider here and we will certainly miss him, but Chadwick and Valeriy Kobzarenko are both very good on this terrain and they both time trial well."
Chadwick, who represented New Zealand in the men's road race, finished second in the 2006 edition of the Tour of Utah. Last year's race did not occur due to financial constraints. This year, promoters have restructured financial operations, downsized the race (from a proposed seven to five) and focused on attracting domestic teams with its spot on the NRC.
Capsule glances of each stage:
Wednesday, Aug. 13, Stage 1: Nephi to Nephi
Beginning and ending in Nephi, racers will travel 101 miles (162 km) through neighboring towns of Fountain Green, Wales, Spring City, Fairview, Moroni and Mount Pleasant, and include a total of 4,851 feet of climbing.
Thursday, Aug. 14, Stage 2: Salt Lake to Ogden
On the menu are four climbs and a flat finish - after 9,960 feet of climbing. Only 84 miles from Salt Lake City to Ogden, home of Weber State University.
Friday, Aug. 15, Stage 3: Downtown Salt Lake City Criterium
This 90-minute race will be run in the heart of Downtown Salt Lake City around a flat, four-corner course that stretches one mile.
Saturday, Aug. 16, Stage Four: Deer Valley to Snowbird
A mountaintop finish following four fierce climbs for a total of 14,778 vertical feet. From Deer Valley Resort in Park City, through the outskirts of Salt Lake to Snowbird Ski Resort: a road race of 99 mountainous miles.
Sunday, Aug. 17, Stage Five: Miller MotorSports Park ITT
Originally announced for 18 miles, this race was shortened to 12 miles and now will only be a 7.5-mile individual test at the Miller Motor Sportspark in Tooele, Utah. Though it is a short distance, the time trial includes 650 feet of climbing.