This is the second year the Wasatch All Road Bicycle Race has been based in Wasatch County, and the first time in Soldier Hollow.
Organizer Jeff Louder says he hopes the race finds a home there. Billed as “Utah’s toughest gravel race,” he says the format combines traditional road racing with the scenery and challenge that Utah’s race courses are famous for.
“The gravel bike is designed to handle both on-road riding and off-road conditions like fire roads and soft singletrack and everything in between,” says Louder. “The sport has really grown in popularity over the past few years, mainly because it really takes people into incredible territory that cyclists haven’t typically spent so much time exploring. And as far as racing goes, it was really fun, community driven.
A 15-year-old former professional cyclist and Tour of Utah winner, Louder says the Wasatch All Road race was inspired by that race and others around the world.
About 420 runners have registered and Louder expects about 450 in total before Wednesday’s midnight registration deadline. He says many of them will be Utahns, but cyclists will also come from all over the country.
The route includes over 11,000 feet of climbing and passes through Daniel, Independence, and a loop of the Uinta Mountains that reaches Highway 35 near Woodland. There are also 75 mile and 20 mile races.
Last year the race started at a Heber bike shop called Ventum, but that was not an option this year. He says Soldier Hollow was top of the list in finding a new place.
“It’s just a great endurance event site,” says Louder. “As a former Olympic site, they host world-class events all year round, from cross-country ski races to biathlon. And, in the summer, there were a lot of great mountain bike races, so it was really a no-brainer to have an event like a gravel race in Soldier Hollow, and they were great to work with.
As with other Soldier Hollow events this year, people not competing can still enjoy the day at the venue. There will be food trucks, a display of bike vendors and a beer garden throughout the day.
Cyclists will cross major roads like US 189 and US 40 in the southern Heber area. Louder says they will be asked to follow the rules of the road, but no roads will be closed for the race.
The winners of the men’s and women’s 100-mile races will each take home $5,000.
Visit thewasatchallroad.com to register for the competition or for more information.