SILVER CITY, New Mexico (February 5, 2024) — DNA Pro Cycling, which won the points classification at the Tour of the Gila 2023, will bring a squad of six riders to the 37th Tour of the Gila this April.
Last year, DNA Pro Cycling attended 31 events in eight countries, earning spots on over 55 podiums and finishing 2023 as the top-ranked UCI Continental Women’s Team in the Western Hemisphere. “We’ve been meeting our goal of being an internationally competitive women’s cycling team,” DNA Pro Cycling Team Principal and Sports Director Catherine “Cathy” Fegan-Kim says.
In its twelfth year, DNA Pro Cycling has raced Tour of the Gila nine times. “We started this team to give opportunities for women to race stage races in the U.S. such as Gila which have challenging competition and logistics,” Fegan-Kim says. “As a U.S.-based professional team, it’s important for us to have opportunities to get UCI points closer to home. Our budget limits us to only three or four international trips. Tour of the Gila is one of only two UCI road events in the U.S. We’re thankful that Gila continues to register as an international UCI event.”
On an individual level, Tour of the Gila is where riders gain street cred. “It’s a monumental race, especially for climbers, and this goes into a lot of our decision making on rosters,” Fegan-Kim says, divulging that DNA riders like Heather Fischer and Colombian National Champion Diana Peñuela remain proud of their stage wins at Tour of the Gila. “For a lot of riders, Gila is a big goal. If you podium or win the Gila Monster, it’s bragging rights.”
This year, DNA Pro Cycling aims to win the General Classification. “That is a big goal for the team,” Fegan-Kim says. “We’re just going to be bold and say it: We’re going for it. We’ll take the best squad we can possibly have for it.”
While Fegan-Kim would not confirm the roster at the time of this interview, possible riders include the two-time Colombian road champion and current time trial champion Peñuela, 2023 Gila Points winner Shayna Powless, former Mexican Road and Time Trial Champion Anet Barrera, 2023 Tour of the Gila alumna and 2023 Vuelta a Colombia stage winner Kaitlyn Rauwerda, and current Canadian U23 Road Champion Sarah Van Dam. Other possible DNA riders on this year’s Tour of the Gila squad include Maeghan Easler and Nadia Gontova, both joining from the UCI Continental Team Roxo Racing. With her climbing and breakaway prowess, Sara Poidevin, who joined DNA from Women’s WorldTour team EF Education-Tibco-SVB, is also a potential selection.
Tour of the Gila typically brings DNA Pro Cycling’s riders and staff to southwest New Mexico for about eight days total each spring. “We love the area, from the incredible scenery to the warm welcome from Silver City residents to the burritos and coffee in the local shops,” said Fegan-Kim. “Even beyond the competition, there are always good stories we can take home with us.”