Team Ziavelo members hail primarily from southern New Mexico

Article and photos by Mary Alice Murphy

Photo: Cat Stailey and Tonya Sotelo, Ziavelo women's team members, warm up under the team canopy.

Ziavelo, a men's and women's cycling team based in Las Cruces, has five members from Las Cruces, two from Pojoaque, two from Albuquerque, one from Alamogordo, 1 in Carlsbad and five in Silver City, according to Shane Cunico, who along with Dave Rutledge, has been co-director for about eight years of the 29-year-old team, which started in 1985.


"We are two years into our five-year plan to be an NRC all-pro Cat 1 team," Cunico said.

Silver Citians Cat Stailey and Tonya Sotelo were warming up under a canopy for their afternoon time trials.

"Why do I bicycle?" Stailey asked and answered: "The people I have met are likeminded and adventuresome, who are funny. I feel like I have found the sisters I never had, and we're competitive. It was my good fortune to meet up with Ziavelo. They support us emotionally and gear-wise, with coaching, care and consideration."

To the same question, Sotelo said: "When I ride I don't have to think. It's free time. No one needs anything from me."

"We wouldn't have near as much fun riding by ourselves," Stailey said.

Tim Ketelaar, one of the support team, said, to the benefit of the women's program, a sponsor had come forward who wanted to donate to support women's racing.

Cunico said the team has 16 sponsored racers, five of whom are women, Cat 1 to Cat 3. Dr. Brian Robinson of Silver City has been a sponsor of the team for three or four years. He and his brother, Kevin, are riding in Cat 4 for the four days of the Tour of the Gila.

The following photos were taken at the Tour of the Gila Day three Time Trials beginning and ending at Tyrone.


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