Race information: UCI Men & Women
The Gila Monster Road Race
The Queen Stage will test the mettle of the racers on the final day of racing at the 29th annual Silver City’s Tour of the Gila powered by The Gila Monsters.
After starting at Gough Park in Silver City, the route offers up multiple climbs before the final push to the finish line in Pinos Altos, seven miles north of Silver City. Finish sprint is on a gradually rising grade.
Follow all the action of both the UCI Women and UCI Men stage 5 – learn more here.
Going into the fifth stage, the jerseys are the following:
- Town of Silver City Leader’s Jersey: Mara Abbott (Exergy TWENTY16)
- Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Queen of the Mountain Jersey: Mara Abbott (Exergy TWENTY16)
- Champion System Best Young Rider Jersey: Rushlee Buchanan (TIBCO)
- Grant County Sprint Jersey: Shelley Olds (Team TIBCO)
- Town of Silver City Leader’s Jersey: Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman)
- Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold King of the Mountain Jersey: Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman)
- Champion System Best Young Rider Jersey: Lawson Craddock (Bontrager)
- Grant County Sprint Jersey: Arnaud Grand (BMC)
UCI Women start at 9 am and race 68.9 miles with 5,610 feet of climbing and 4,714 feet of descent. Two bonus sprints and three QOM sprints (one Cat 2 and two Cat 3 QOM).
After the start, the course proceeds out of Silver City on US 180. Race will remain neutral until clearing the last stoplight on the way out of town at 2.2 miles (3.5km). The first road of the race is a four-lane divided highway with wide shoulders. Riders stay in right lane and shoulder. At 7.8 miles(12.5km), the race will turn left onto NM 152 for the first bonus sprint at 10.9 miles (17.5km) followed by the first QOM, a Cat 3 at 16.1 miles (25.9km). Race turns left onto NM 35 at 22.1 miles(35.6km). After the turn the race heads up the Mimbres Valley toward Lake Roberts. Second bonus sprint will be along NM 35 at Camp Thunderbird, 35.6 miles (57.3km), between mm 13 and 14. After passing Lake Roberts at the junction with NM 15, turn left onto NM 15 toward Pinos Altos. Cross Sapillo Creek at 50.5 miles (81.3km), and begin the climb to Wild Horse Mesa, 53.8 miles(86.6km) for the second QOM, a Cat 2. At 68.3 miles(109.9km), bear right to Pinos Altos at the “Y” intersection. It is approximately 0.5 miles(0.8km) to the finish.
UCI Men start at 8:40 am and race 100.6 miles with 9,131 feet of climbing and 8,252 feet of descent. Two bonus sprints and five KOMS (one Cat 1, two Cat 2, and three Cat 3 KOM.)
After the start, the course proceeds out of Silver City on US 180. Race will remain neutral until clearing the last stoplight on the way out of town at 2.2 miles(3.5km). The first road of the race is a four-lane divided highway with wide shoulders. Riders stay in right lane and shoulder. At 5.6 miles(9km), the race will turn left onto NM 152 for the first bonus sprint at 8.7 miles(14km). This is followed by fast, straight downhill. At the bottom of the descent at 10.2 miles(16.4km) is a railroad crossing. The first KOM is a Cat 3 at mile 13.9 (22.4km). Race turns left onto NM 35 at 19.9 miles (32.0km). The road is narrow with little or no shoulder. The second bonus sprint will be along NM 35 at Camp Thunderbird, 33.4 miles(53.8km) between mm13 and14. At the junction with NM 15, riders turn right to begin the 7 mile (11.3km) Copperas Vista climb of the Gila Cliff Dwelling leg. The second KOM at 54.9 miles(88.4km) is a Cat 2. Use caution on dangerous descents. At 64.9 miles(104.4km), the course reaches the turn-around. This part of the race course features 2-way bike race traffic – riders and drivers should exercise great caution and look out for oncoming traffic. The third KOM is a Cat 1 at 75.3miles(121.2km). Use caution on descent to Sapillo Creek. Riders will cross Sapillo Creek at 83.0 miles(133.6km) and begin the 3.3 mile(5.3km) climb to Wild Horse Mesa. The fourth KOM is a Cat 2 at 86.3 miles(138.9km). At 100.0 miles(160.9km), the course bears to the right at the “Y” intersection, the road into Pinos Altos. It is approximately 0.5 miles(0.8km) to the finish.
About Day 5
Similar to the Thursday stage, this iconic stage takes the racers in a reverse loop. After a steep descent down Hwy 152, all but one category makes a sharp left/right/left series of turns then travels 30 miles through the extremely scenic MimbresValley with rolling hills offering terrific views of each peloton against mountain backdrops with vast meadows or tall pines.
The Men 1, 2 race heads up Hwy 152 and climbs to the crest of the BlackRange at EmoryPass then turns around for a swift, winding descent back to a fast, hard right turn returning to the same course. After pedaling around LakeRoberts, racers face the grueling ascent from Sapillo Crossing to Wild Horse Mesa. Winding, narrow mountain roads lead to the uphill finish in Piños Altos. covering 69-103 miles.
The race leaves Hwy 35 and follows Hwy 15 7 miles up a steep climb to Clinton Anderson Vista. The race plunges down toward the turn-around at the Cliff Dwellings National Monument Visitor Center, often exceeding speeds of 97 kmph(60 mph). They then return to make the very difficult Category 1 climb before a rapid descent to Sapillo Crossing. Another arduous climb takes the riders to Wild Horse Mesa after which the road winds through the splendor and shadows of the Gila National Forest. Racers complete 2 853 m (9,360 ft) of climbing over 103 mi( 166 km) to the uphill finish in the historic Village of Piños Altos. This steep stage finish determines the overall finish and can make all the difference in overall placing if not calculated well.