Get ready! The clock is ticking as the cyclists competing in the 31st Annual Tour of the Gila start to filter in to Silver City. The Tour of the Gila begins on Wednesday, April 19th with the Stage 1 Mogollon Road Race. Stage 1 begins at Gough Park in Silver City and ends with a finish-line sprint near the town of Mogollon. The Master Men A begin the races at 8:00 am, Men 3 leave at 8:10, UCI Women at 8:25, UCI Men at 9:05, and the Men 1,2 category leave at 10:00 am.
Thursday’s Stage 2 race is the Inner Loop Road Race, where the competitors will begin and end at historic Fort Bayard and race along the Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway. Races begin at 7:50 am with the Master Men B Category. The races continue to leave at staggered times until the UCI Women hit the pavement at 10:40 am. The stretch of 180 between Santa Clara and the 32nd Street Bypass is an excellent place to stop and watch the racers as they go by throughout the morning, but remember the roads are closed during the race times, so be sure to leave early!
Stage 3 on Friday is the Dan Potts Memorial Tyrone Individual Time Trials, or ITT. On Friday, cyclists leave at 30-second intervals and race against the clock and 1,000 feet of climbing as each rider tackles the course alone. The course is wide with plenty of space on the side of the road for spectators. Races begin at 9:15 am with the UCI Men and end in the afternoon with the Men 1,2 category.
Saturday boasts the popular Downtown Silver City Criterium for Stage 4. Head out on Saturday, April 22nd to cheer on the racers, bring out the little ones for the Kiwanis/Rotary Bicycle Safety Rodeo, and even more great events in beautiful Downtown Silver City. The racing begins and ends at Bullard and 6th Street, and circles North on Bullard before turning west onto College Avenue, south on North Cooper, and East on Market Street before again turning onto Bullard. This is a great chance to come out and cheer on the racers! And if you can’t make it down, don’t forget to log on to LiveFromSilver.com and watch the races in action.
The final stage of the race on Sunday is the notorious Gila Monster Road Race. The Gila Monster features over 9,000 feet of climbing in over 103 miles of roadway. Races begin at 7:30 am with the Men 3 category and continue at staggered times throughout the day. The racecourse follows Highway 152 into the Black Range, circles Lake Roberts, and returns before leading racers up to Pinos Altos for an exciting uphill finish. Spend the afternoon in the quaint mountain village, cheer on the racers, and congratulate the winners of the 31st Annual Tour of the Gila!
Stay tuned to Silver City Radio for the road closure announcements next week, and check back to our website for more race details as the Race arrives.