SILVER CITY, NM (April 29, 2014) –The 28th Annual Silver City's Tour of the Gila presented by SRAM internationally sanctioned race will once again host 21 teams and close to 200 riders. The race runs from April 30-May 4, 2014. Last year's UCI Men's winner, Phillip Deignan, runner up Phil Gaimon, and Francisco Mancebo are all now racing on the ProTour. Thus, the men's race is wide open. Here are just a few of the riders you should look out for.
Coming off of tough European spring classics, look for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling (UHC) to be in excellent form and ready to race. UHC had a very successful year at the Gila in 2013 when they won the crit with Kiel Reijnen and the overall team classification. Besides Reijnen, watch for their climber Lucas Euser with Chris Jones to back him up, while their famous blue train is always a danger during stage 4.
Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home are back after carrying the leader jersey last year for four stages with Janier Acevedo. Acevedo has moved up to the ProTour, but their squad with the experience of Luis Amaran, who has raced the Gila for several years, to Matt Cooke who won the King of the Mountain jersey in Colorado last August and Daniel Jaramillo, will also be a threat.
Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits), current US Time Trial National Champion and three-time TT victor here at Gila, is back to snag his fourth win on the 16.15 mile course in Tyrone. His teammate Carter Jones, won the King of the Mountains jersey at the Amgen Tour of the California last year while both are backed by a strong team including Will Routley and Jesse Anthony to name a few.
The Tour of the Gila is honored to have current Road National Champion Freddie Rodriguez (Jelly Belly) take the start line for its 28th edition as well as the current Mexican National Road Champion and climbing specialist Luis Enrique Davila. Then there is their teammate, Matthew Lloyd who is the past winner of the KOM jersey at the 2011 Giro d'Italia.
Other strong UCI Continental teams are 5-hour Energy p/b Kenda Pro Cycling with Chad Beyer who was runner up in 2012 but also new to the team, Jake Keough, is sure to make his presence known during stage 4 criterium. Besides Frankie Andreu's squad, new Director Sportif Mike Creed's Team SmartStop has had a very strong spring. Travis McCabe is coming off wins supported by a his team at Joe Martin in Arkansas and the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic prior to that. McCabe is here to support his team, especially their climbers.
Bissell Development Team may be young but do not let their age fool you. The team comes to this race with U23 National Road Champion Tanner Putt and James Oram, who's made it known he's specifically targeting this race as a high priority this season. Based on years past, any one of the team's riders could surprise us.
Not to be outdone, Hincapie Sportswear Development Squad has shown its strength after winning stages recently in California with Dion Smith, against the top teams. They will return with Australian Joe Lewis, past winner of the sprinter's jersey and crit winner and aggressive GC contender Joey Rosskopf.
Stages for the 2014 Silver City's Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM include:
Stage 1, Silver City to Mogollon Road Race – Wednesday, April 30
Stage 2, Fort Bayard Inner Loop Road Race -Thursday, May 1
Stage 3, Dan Potts Memorial Tyrone Individual Time Trial – Friday, May
Stage 4, Downtown Silver City Criterium – Saturday May 3
Stage 5, Gila Monster Road Race – Sunday, May 4
Full Men's Roster for the Start of the 2014 Tour of the Gila:
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
Astellas Cycling Team
Bissell Development Team
Hincapie Development Team
68-Eloy Teruel Rovira
Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
Silber Pro Cycling Team
98-Derrick St John
Team Smart Stop
106-*Flavio de Luna
Hagens Berman U23 Cycling Prog
Horizon Organic/Einstein Bros.
Team Rio Grande Cycling
171-Eder Areanas Moachorro
BMW Development Team
181-*Gerardo Medina Robles
186-*Rene Corella Braun
Team H&R Block
202-*Adam de Vos
*Indicates under 23 rider