The 32nd Annual Tour of the Gila concluded its five-stage race this past week. In attendance were 18 professional men’s teams, 10 professional women’s teams, and over 200 amateurs from all over the world. The Tour of the Gila is considered the hardest race in North America and is the third largest race of its kind in North America. Cyclists competed over 5 days, with over 10,000 feet of climbing. Day one of the race took them to Mogollon, day two around the inner loop, day three the Tyrone time trials, day four around downtown Silver City, and yesterday, the Gila Monster Sunday, that for the professional men covered 100 miles of road from Silver City, to the Mimbres, to the Gila Cliff Dwellings visitor center parking lot, and back to Pinos Altos. The course included 9800 feet of grueling climbs and 8700 feet of challenging descents. The professional men’s champion of the day was Gavin Mannion, of UnitedHealthcare, and the women’s champion of stage 5 was Dia Martinez, of UnitedHealthcare.
The overall winners from all five days of racing included Rob Britton, from Canada of Rally Cycling, finishing almost a minute ahead of 2nd place. The Women’s professional winner was Katie Hall, of USA of UnitedHealthcare.
New this year included bringing the race live on Saturday for the downtown criterium. SkyWest Media helped to make this possible with the assistance of WNM Comminutions who provided the “lightening” fast internet. Also, the contributions of First Financial Credit Union together with the many hours of work by SkyWest Media the broadcast showcased Silver City with over a 17,000 reach on Facebook Live, of which over 5000 were unique views, and additional reach on a Tour of the Gila YouTube channel, where thousands of additional viewers also watched the race from all over the world. Each night Silver City was given additional exposure about the race on KOATV and KOB. NBC Sports also came for two days of the race.
Sincerest thanks are extended to all of the sponsors of this year’s 32nd Tour of the Gila. Platinum sponsors included Town of Silver City, County of Grant, SkyWest Media, Freeport McMoRan, Southwest Bone and Joint Institute, Brian and Lynn Robinson, and DWB. Gold Sponsors included PRIMAL, PNM, First Financial Credit Union, WNM Communications, Holiday Inn Express, and HMS. Silver Supporters included Ace Hardware, ZiaVelo, Gila Regional Medical Center, Murray Hotel, Deming Coca-Cola, WNMU, Silver City Daily Press, Lawley Silver City, and the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce. There were many numerous sponsors who are also thanked.
Most importantly, this race would not be possible without the countless hours of dedication by the volunteers. The community support and volunteerism for this race is outstanding. Thank you, Silver City and Grant County, for hosting this important event. The cycling community truly sends their appreciation for the warm hospitality they received, more than any other place they race, many stated. We encourage these cyclist and others to visit us often year-round to train and simply enjoy cycling in our area. Lastly, special thanks to Jack Brennan, Race Director.