CEDAR CITY — On the eve of the ninth Tour of Utah, riders and organizers gathered to discuss the breadth of this year’s race.

“I can finally say that the Tour of Utah is living up to its name by coming to Southern Utah for the first time,” said Steve Miller, president of Miller Sports Properties. “Now in its ninth year of racing, the tour has never been held here and we look forward to an incredible week of world-class cycling on the scenic byways of Utah from South to North.”

The race will begin Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at Brian Head Ski Resort and end 112 miles later in Cedar City. Wednesday it moves to Panguitch and travels more than 130 miles to the town of Torrey. Thursday’s route travels from Richfield to Payson, while Friday’s event is a circuit in Salt Lake City. Saturday the riders will travel from Snowbasin Ski Resort to Snowbird Ski Resort. The final stage will be a loop that starts in Park City and travels through Wasatch County before ending on Park City’s Main Street. In total, riders will travel 586 miles as they traverse some of the state’s most scenic routes. Some of the world's top riders will compete with 17 Olympians registered for the race.

“We couldn't be more excited about the 2013 edition of the Tour of Utah, which continues to hold the reputation of being 'America's toughest stage race,'” Miller said. “From the red rocks of Southern Utah to the Wasatch, it will be a route that will showcase the beauty of our state.”

City and state officials were on hand at Monday’s press conference in Cedar City. Riders also addressed the media and spectators and expressed excitement about the changes to the race.

Park City native Tanner Putt will be competing with the Bontrager Cycling Team and is the recently crowned U-23 national road race champion.

“It's a great honor to be here racing with all these guys,” Putt said. “I've grown up watching the Tour of Utah every year, I think. It passes right by my house on the last two stages. All my friends and family will be out there and supporting us. It's a really great feeling to come out here and be able to do this.”

The race is being streamed live at tourofutah.com and parts of the race will be televised on KJZZ and ROOT Sports. The events each day are free to spectators, and this year's event is expected to be broadcast in 50 countries.

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