Chris Horner and Tommy Danielson woke up on Sunday tied for first place overall. They had pedaled 509 miles and climbed 35,988 feet in the past five days at a race ferocity, and had done so in a way that had them tied to the second. Beginning and ending in Park City, seventy-eight miles and 7,633 feet of climbing on the last day of the Tour of Utah would determine the victor of America’s Toughest Stage Race.
The race leaders were called up to the starting line first, followed by the rest of the pack at about noon. It was decided that two loops around downtown was in order before taking off, and the peloton rushed by crowds of spectators as they finished their final loop and headed out.
The course took the riders North towards Rockport State Park, then South through Kamas to Heber. The final climb up Empire Pass was packed with action. Tommy Danielson attacked and gained the lead. Chris Horner, the wearer of the yellow jersey, held on as best he could. Once Danielson topped out and began descending, he couldn’t be touched. On a breakaway, the small group riding with Horner could not touch Danielson, even as they approached speeds of seventy miles per hour. Danielson rounded the last corner and sprinted up Main Street, crossing the finish line hot on the heels of the stage winner Francisco Mancebo. The announcers couldn’t believe the display of athleticism and cycling skill that they had just witnessed, saying that this was “one of the best races of the decade.” At the end of the day, Tommy Danielson stood on the podium as the overall winner of America’s Toughest Stage Race.