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VN news ticker: Tour of Utah returns in 2022 with Medalist Sports, Hugh Carthy extends with EF

Here's what's making the headlines on Thursday, April 29.

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Tour of Utah returns in 2022 with Medalist Sports

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will not run in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, the race announced its intentions to return in 2022 after inking an operations deal with longtime race production company Medalist Sports.

The news ends speculation about the race’s future.

The race held its last edition in 2019, and in 2020 the event was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Race officials stated their intention to bring the event back in 2021, but this year’s edition was also called off due to COVID-19.

There was also lingering questions about the Miller family’s desire to continue with a major sports event after the family sold its biggest sports asset, the Utah Jazz, in October of 2020.

Thursday’s release ends speculation about the race’s future — the race appears destined to return in 2022.

Medalist Sports will oversee the event’s production for the first time in the race’s history. Medalist has a long history of producing international bike races, and the company’s lineup includes the Tour de Georgia, Tour of Missouri, USA Pro Challenge, and the first editions of the Amgen Tour of California.

“Our goals of bringing world-class cycling to our local communities and showcasing the beauty of our state through the eyes of sport continue,” said race chairman Steve Miller in a release. “The Tour of Utah has grown in stature and respect through the years, and we are thankful for the support of countless volunteers, loyal corporate partners, committed host cities and fanatic cycling enthusiasts. It has been an honor to conduct this race around the state for the past 15 years.

“We are now excited to support Medalist Sports in their operations and planning of these events,” Miller said. “Medalist has familiarity with the Tour of Utah and tremendous experience and expertise in conducting cycling events. We are particularly grateful for our partnerships with the Utah Sports Commission, the Utah Office of Tourism, and USA Cycling through the years. For everyone involved, the Tour of Utah is a labor of love.”

The Tour of Utah has grown in stature in recent years to become the biggest and most challenging stage race in the U.S. Its past lineup of winners includes Sepp Kuss (2018), Ben Hermans (2019), and Rob Britton (2017).

Hugh Carthy to stick with EF Education-Nippo

British grand tour rider Hugh Carthy signed a contract extension to stay with the EF Education-Nippo team. Carthy is already in his fifth season with the American squad after joining them in 2017.

Last season, he rode to a career-best grand tour finish with third at the Vuelta a España behind Primož Roglič and Richard Carapaz. He will lead EF Education-Nippo at the forthcoming Giro d’Italia, which begins next week.

Also read: Here’s why Hugh Carthy should be your new favorite pro cyclist

“I chose to stay at EF simply because the team feels right,” Carthy said of the extension. “We’re a weird mix of riders but we form a team. When it feels right staying seems the only logical option.

“I’ve had some nice memories and made good friends here amongst riders and staff. I want to continue on this journey and play my part in the team’s great legacy.”

The team did not announce how long Carthy’s new contract would last.

“Over the past few seasons, he has really blossomed as a climber and has become a leader in this team as well,” team manager Jonathan Vaughters said. “He works hard, isn’t scared to punch above his weight, and, most importantly, he stays true to himself. We knew his work ethic would pay off, and we’re just glad people are starting to notice.”

Delko staff leave amid financial problems

The long-running ProTeam Delko may have scored one of its biggest victories at the Tour of Turkey earlier this month but it is in dire financial straits, according to a report in French newspaper La Provence.

Sport director Gorka Gerrikagoitia revealed to the publication that he would be leaving the team on May 1 to help reduce payroll costs. Fellow sport director José Azevedo, three coaches and the squad’s nutritionist are also set to leave, the newspaper has reported.

Also read: EF picks up some top Nippo riders

“It is a personal decision, it was confirmed to us today,” Gerrikogitia told La Provence. “The team is not well economically, Philippe (Lannes, the manager) gathered all the staff to explain the situation.

“Without me he will save a lot of money. I don’t have an offer from another team, I find myself unemployed, period. I really am the one who loses the most.”

Delko won a stage and the overall classification at the Tour of Turkey with José Manuel Díaz less than two weeks ago.