Gila Race report
by Kristin McGrath
260 miles, 21,133 feet of climbing, 80+ degree heat, 30mph winds, 65 women battling it out, two-wheel style, for bragging rights and a locally made, beautiful pottery bowl to display on the mantel. This is Tour of the Gila. Entering Gila, 2013, our team had one goal, one mission: Win. Having won two of the last three additions, we wanted to ‘keep it in the family’. Our mission was singular and we didn’t care which one of us was on the podium the last day, we just wanted the top step. Gila was extra special for me as it marked my first race back with my beloved team, after a spring spent racing in freezing, Northern Europe. After many races spent suffering in the wind and flat roads of Holland, I was more than excited to go uphill, and there is no one I like ascending mountains with more than my Twenty16 teammates. Gila is arguably one of the hardest stage races in America, if not the world, due to the challenging terrain in relentless wind, dry air and altitude. Add in a strong peloton and it equates to a doozie of a race. My favorite.