On Thursday, August 6, Heber Valley welcomes back the world to Soldier Hollow for stage 4 of “America’s toughest stage race,” the Tour of Utah. As over 100 professional athletes prepare to make the some 127 mile journey around Heber Valley, one resident, and up and coming cyclist, is eager to have the tour in his home town.
Trevor Jackson, of Midway, graduated from Wasatch High and is currently a senior at the University of Utah. He is also a top competitor for SBR Cycles cycling team out of Orem. Jackson looks forward to seeing Heber Valley hosting stage 4, and thinks this stage with the start and finish at Soldier Hollow will be “exciting and unpredictable.”
“Being at elevation this leg will not be as hot, but the lack of oxygen and the steep climbs and a slight uphill finish, it could be anybody’s race,” Jackson said.
As the number one cyclists in the state in his category, Jackson got his start in cycling in the Heber Valley, which he said gave him a good foundation for his collegiate experience. Cycling for him represents freedom and the challenge to compete against himself, which motivates him to work harder. He knows the road to compete in the tour is tough and competitive, but still said that it would be a dream come true.
The cycling scene in Heber Valley has changed over the years as new programs such as the mountain bike team at Wasatch High and new trails being developed by the Wasatch Trails Alliance are bringing more and more people to the area. Jackson said he still loves to come back to the valley often to get in a good ride.
“Heber and Midway are great places to ride because there isn’t much traffic on the surface roads, and a lot of options from easy to challenging climbs help draw people here,” he said.
Jackson believes Heber is becoming more and more a cycling destination, which he says makes the Heber Valley a good fit for the Tour of Utah. He points out the variety of features that draw cyclists and a new emphasis in the community to develop new trails as key to the growth of cycling in the valley.
For those who don’t know much about the tour or haven’t been before Jackson said to go and bring the family.
“This is a very accessible, fun family event. You can get up close to the athletes and cheer them on as they race by, and there will be a lot of activities at Soldier Hollow.”
Stage 4 of the Tour will begin at Soldier Hollow at 8:30 am. Racers will make their way from Solider Hollow through Charleston and Daniels before winding their way up Highway 40 past Strawberry Reservoir. They will then make their way back to the valley from Woodland and over Wolf Creek pass and into Midway before they return for the finish at Soldier Hollow around 2:30pm.
There are many places to watch the cyclist along the route with major festivities at Soldier Hollow such as music, fun, food, and other things to do between the start and finish. For more information about the stage 4 of the Tour of Utah including the route and activities go to gohebervalley.com.