Tour de St. GeorgeThe Tour de St. George will usher hundreds of cyclists through Washington County during  April 8. The event will begin at 8 a.m. at St. George’s Town Square, also where the tour will end.

“We like to say that St. George has a little bit of everything,” said Joey Dye, marketing director for Red Rock Bicycle Company. “It’s layered with red rocks that define the northern side of the city, jutting above the valley. You get to look deep into those sandstone cliffs in Snow Canyon and it’s all topped off with the largest laccolith in the world, Pine Valley Mountain. The area is defined by these layers and accented by the green trees in the valleys and the cottonwoods around the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers. The Tour of St. George gives you a guided tour of all those layers.”

Starting downtown, the route climbs toward the red rocks and skirts the base of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve as riders will head toward Red Mountain and pass by the mouth of Snow Canyon. Later, riders will pedal south to the Arizona state line before heading toward Sand Hollow and Quail Creek State Parks and their respective reservoirs. From there, participants will glide into St. George through more layers of sandstone, ending at Town Square.

There are three distances: 35, 75, and 100 miles — with fully stocked rest stops — as riders weave their way through Sand Hollow State Park and Quail Creek State Park. The 35-mile route has an elevation swing of a little more than 1,400 feet, while the two longer distances contain elevation swings of about 4,000 and 5,500 feet.

Dye said he expects approximately 600 competitors to participate, an increase of about 50 from 2016. An estimated 85 percent of participants will be out-of-town guests. The Tour de St. George is in its 14th year and occurs in the spring and fall.

More information is available online.

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