Photo by Mitch Clinton
Silver City, NM (April 4, 2014) – The top continental and elite professional men in North America will converge in Silver City in a few weeks to contest the 28th Annual Silver City's Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM. New Mexico's premiere cycling race is the second stop in the USA on the UCI American Tour calendar.
Since the past three winners of the men's race are now racing overseas, with two on the Pro Tour, there will be many vying for the win. "We have been truly fortunate to have such great cycling talent come through Silver City in the last few years," Race Director Jack Brennan adds, "We have a loaded field again this year. I am excited to see what develops at this year's race."
US Pro-continental team, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling will return with a stacked team to defend both the race title and team classification. Other contenders include Jamis Hagens Berman who has had multiple stage winners in years' past, Jelly Belly Cycling p/b Maxxis will be bringing Freddie Rodriguez, the current US National Road Champion, as part of their squad.
Look for new addition to 5-Hour Energy p/b Kenda, Jake Keough, to contest for the sprint on Stage 4 downtown criterium, while their climbers are looking forward to fighting for the overall podium. "As one of the toughest stage races in the U.S. it presents a unique opportunity for our climbers to showcase their strengths, we look towards winning a stage and finishing on the overall podium," Director Frankie Andreu says, "Each year we have had fantastic host housing and we always look forward to visiting the friends we have made during our trips to Silver City." Team Optum p/b Kelly Strategies and Team SmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis with new director Mike Creed are sure to be in the mix for the win as well.
The 5-day stage race has also become a place where the up and coming stars of cycling shine with stage winners in recent years jumping up to the Pro Tour citing their performances at the Gila. Hincapie Sportswear Development Squad has shown their strong contention after winning stages recently in California with Dion Smith, against the top teams. They will return with Joe Lewis, past wearer of the sprinter's jersey.
After merging in the off-season with new sponsor Bissell, Axel Merckx's young Bissell Development Team, continues to lead a stellar program for young riders. Watch for the young Kiwi, James Oran, who has started his season strong with a supportive team hungry for victories. Other development teams returning to Silver City will be BMW Development Team, and Hagens Berman U-23 Cycling Program.
2014 will also see the return of a few international teams from North America as well as Europe. Two teams from Canada will be racing the Gila for the first time, Silber Pro Cycling Team, lead by esteemed Director Gord Fraser, along with Team H & R Block, also making the trek down from the North. Other international teams include Arenas-Tlax-Mex from Mexico and the French team, Team Guadeloupe-Resonex.
Racing begins Wednesday, April 30 in Silver City, with the traditional 5-stage course concluding with the Gila Monster on Sunday, May 1.
Complete Men's Teams List
UCI Pro-Continental Team:
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling (USA)
UCI Continental Teams:
5-Hour Energy p/b Kenda Racing (USA)
Airgas Cycling (USA)
Astellas Cycling Team (USA)
Bissell Development Team (USA)
Hincapie Sportswear Development Team (USA)
Jamis-Hagens Berman (USA)
Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis (USA)
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
SmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis (USA)
Silber Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Elite Cycling Teams:
Arenas Tlax Mex (MEX)
BMW Development Team (USA)
California Giant/Specialized (USA)
Canyon Bicycles-Shimano (USA)
Hagens Berman U-23 Cycling Program (USA)
Horizon Organiz/Einstein Bros Cycling (USA)
Incycle-Predator Components Cycling Team (USA)
Landis/Trek Team (USA)
Team Guadeloupe-Resonex (FRA)
Team H&R Block (CAN)
Team Rio Grande Cycling (USA)
For more information on the teams visit:
For the complete schedule of the 2014 Silver City's Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM, please visit www.tourofthegila.com. Official hashtag - #TouroftheGila.