Modeled on the world famous L’Etape du Tour de France gran fondo that allows amateur cyclists to race a stage of the Tour de France each year, the Tour of Utah Ultimate Challenge offered the same opportunity at America’s biggest professional race – the Tour of Utah.
But the popular amateur event will not run again, likely not ever again, with the organiser announcing they will not hold another edition of the Tour of Utah pro race or amateur gran fondo.
“On-going sponsor and host community discussions have been positive; however, not strong enough to support a viable effort to meet our collective expectations,” organiser Medalist Sports announced last week.
This is the third year in a row that both events have been cancelled due to ongoing pandemic and sponsorship challenges. When held in recent years, participation from top European pro riders has been uncertain, at best, with teams sending lesser-known and less-experienced riders in lieu of the sport’s top stars. This put the event in a dangerous death spiral as broadcast media coverage and revenue declined.
When last held, the 2019 Tour of Utah Ultimate Challenge started before the “Queen Stage” pro race, with amateur riders tackling the same brutal course, climbs and finish as the professionals on a 94 miles long route with 8100 feet of high altitude climbing.
PHOTOS: Tour of Utah