With new options for USA Cycling categories, the New Mexico stage race aims to increase participation.
SILVER CITY, New Mexico – One of North America’s top stage races, Tour of the Gila opened registration to amateur competitors on Monday, January 1, 2024. Once again on the calendar for the last week of April, the iconic bicycling event will feature the usual five stages for the UCI categories and a reduced number of stages for the USA Cycling categories.
Scheduling conflicts are the leading barrier to participation in bike races, according to a USA Cycling study. A survey conducted by Tour of the Gila organizers also provided insight that guided the change for non-professional riders. “Tour of the Gila is still the place where amateurs can compete on the same roads on the same days as the pros,” Board President Michelle Geels said. “And now even more people will be able to add our race to their 2024 calendar.”
Men and Women 2, 3 racers will experience four days of racing, starting with the Inner Loop Road Race on Thursday, April 25. The less experienced Men and Women 4 and 5 racers will ride three stages: the Tyrone Time Trial, Downtown Criterium, and Gila Monster Road Race. The master men will also race for three days. In partnership with other southwest stage races, Tour of the Gila is adding a junior men field for teens 15-18. Some of the combined categories will race together as one field but be scored separately. Details about each amateur category are available at tourofthegila.com/race/race-information.
Racers may sign up for the 37th Tour of the Gila online at bikereg.com/tour-of-the-gila starting on the first of the year. The entry fees range from $120 to $240.
Teams confirmed for the UCI race include Team California, which runs one of the country’s top men’s U23 programs, and DNA Pro Cycling, a women’s UCI continental team. “With 2024 being an Olympic year we are expecting our best and most international women’s and men’s fields ever,” Race Director Michael Engleman said.
Visitors and local residents who have supported Tour of the Gila for three dozen years with their offerings of time and talent may check tourofthegila.com for information about volunteering and watching the race this spring.