In what is perhaps a sign that the economy is improving, several major races have announced recently that they had secured major sponsors and are confidently approaching their scheduled launch.

The latest is the Tour of Utah, whose organizers announced Monday that all their 2009 sponsors are continuing this year, and that the race is adding a new title sponsor, Zions Bank.

The event, to be held August 17-22,will include a prologue and five stages, concluding with its toughest stage, the Park City to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

The other stages include the University of Utah Health Care Ogden to Research Park road race, the Heiden Davidson Orthopedics criterium in downtown Park City, a time trial at Miller Motorsports Park sponsored by teamgive.org, and the XANGO Thanksgiving Point to Top of Mt. Nebo road race. Race route details will be announced soon.

The Tour of Utah will also include a non-competitive ride for enthusiast cyclists the Saturday before called “The Ultimate Challenge.” Detailed information for The Ultimate Challenge will be released soon.