CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah started day one with a very close race in southern Utah. It also made history as cyclists went through Zion National Park for the first time.
“It was really exciting,” Jose Gonzalez said.
“It’s fun. It’s fun to do,” Roger Bender said, volunteer.
In the end, Kristofer Dahl of Silber beat out seven other cyclists by less than one second in the first stage. Deemed “America’s toughest stage race,” more than 120 professional cyclists from 26 countries are competing.
“It’s such an adrenaline rush watching everyone compete for the number one spot,” Jose Gonzalez said.
Last year, a record-breaking number of people watched the race, nearly 400,000. The Tour of Utah has an estimated $22 million economic impact.
“The Tour of Utah is a rolling postcard of the state,” Tour of Utah Spokesperson Frank Zang said.
Before the official race, the cyclists rode through Zion National Park to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the National Park system.
“The chance to go through a national park had never happened before. It may be a once in a lifetime opportunity so we were very privileged to have a chance to go through the park,” Zang said.
“I don’t know how much time they have to take in the scenery, I know they are focusing on the race, but it is a beautiful area,” Glenn Pearson said, volunteer.
The tour wraps up in Park City this weekend.