Tour of Gila Cycling race…. What to Expect
The Tour of Gila Cycling race is an annual road race held in New Mexico. This year’s race will be the 26th annual race, and it will be held in Silver City, NM. Currently, as of April 10, 2012, 358 riders are registered for the race. The event is sponsored by SRAM, a company that makes bicycle parts. Recently, the men’s version of the tour has been upgraded to be art of the UCI America Tour. The organizers applied for this recognition the previous year, but the event did not have sufficient finances in order to be accepted. Unlike the men’s side, the status of the women’s side did not change and it will still remain the US National team.
The race lasts four days, from Wednesday May 2, 2012 to Sunday May 6, 2012. During this time, the course will cover 540 km. There are three road races, a time trial, and criterium involved as well; which is a race that occurs separately from the other races. Both men and women can participate as riders in the event, but there are separate categories for participants based on age and gender. One category alone exists for riders over the age of 40. Each category increases by 10 year increments up to age 70, at which point riders are not allowed to participate.
The top 3 teams from the 2011 race were: Furvic (from Brazil), Movistar (from Colombia), and EPM-UNE. Each of these three teams have been invited to the 2012 race to compete again, and will most likely have an advantage over the other teams present, given that they won last year. They will likely still do well, but there is the potential for upsets to happen.
On the men’s side of the race, Francisco Mancebo from Spain won in 2011, with Levi Lepheimer winning in 2010 and 2009. Clara Hughes from Canada was the 2011 women’s winner. Levi Lepheimer is a famous name in bicycle road racing, so he will likely be a source of competition for the racers when he is present at the race. Since 1996, Lepheimer has served on several different road racing teams. He is one of the more established names in bicycle road racing.
Other than Levi Lepheimer, there will be several other famous names from many international teams. US, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Spain, France, and Israel were represented amongst the winners on both the men’s and women’s side of the race in 2011. This has made the competition a truly global one, sparking interest in it among people from around the world.
This could help the riders in their careers, or hurt them if they happen to have a bad run. Upsets are possible, and there will be plenty of potential for new names to be more prominent as a result of this event. It will be difficult for the old names to stand up to the newer people from around the world. In this internationally prominent event, the road racers will be facing tough pressure and competition from teams from many countries around the world.