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Boulder cyclists can’t wait for Tour of the Gila’s southern New Mexico warmth

April 22, 2013
Leaders near the finish at Mogollon in Stage 1 of the 2012 Tour of the Gila

Leaders near the finish at Mogollon in Stage 1 of the 2012 Tour of the Gila

[updated 4/23/2013]

Today Silver City, New Mexico residents closed their curtains for the night on a Monday with a high temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s only slightly above average for this small town of just over 10,000 residents which in nine days will host the 27th Tour of the Gila.

About 750 miles north, the Boulder, Colorado cyclists registered for the race probably wished Stage 1 had begun a week ahead of schedule.

By 9 p.m. this evening about five inches of snow had landed in Boulder with more expected overnight.

One thing Boulder and Silver City have in common right now is altitude. Boulder is just over a mile high at 5,430 feet, with Silver City at about 5,900 feet. Last year several riders from sea level felt the altitude in Silver City, saying they found it hard to breathe.

The elevation is just one of the difficulty factors in this tough five-day race. Every day except for the criterium stage downtown includes a good dose of uphill. The last stage isn’t called the “Gila Monster” for nothing. On that day riders climb 9,131 feet over 100 miles.

The Tour of the Gila, which runs from May 1 to May 5 this year,  is great training for the Tour of California which begins a week later.

Tour of the Gila overall winners

2010: Levi Leipheimer, Mara Abbott

2011: Francisco Mancebo, Clara Huges

2012: Rory Sutherland, Kristin Armstrong

[Weather account on the morning after this piece was written, from the Daily Camera: “Boulder saw 10.2 inches of snow as of 7 a.m. today, bringing the total snowfall for the month of April to 46.2 inches, breaking the previous record of 44 set in 1957. Boulder also saw a record-low temperature of 20 degrees this morning, breaking the old record for April 23 of 22 degrees.” Yep, bring on The Gila.]

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From → Road Racing

3 Comments
  1. MikeW permalink

    Great picture, good coverage. Thank you Mary!

    • Thanks, Mike! It’s a beautiful place and a great race. Hope you’ve been or get to go.

      • MikeW permalink

        At the top of that, you can sometimes cycle or hike into a low hanging cloud. What a feeling.

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