Photo: Casey B. Gibson
AEVOLO PRO CYCLING TO START TOUR OF THE GILA
April 18 - 22, 2018
New Mexico race deemed most difficult on US Pro Road Tour calendar
Aevolo Pro Cycling will continue its spring block of racing at the legendary Tour of the Gila. The five-stage, five-day race is held in and around beautiful Silver City, New Mexico and is widely regarded as the most difficult UCI 2.2 race in North America due to the high altitude and climbing heavy stages.
Stage one finishes with a 6.7 mile climb up Mogollon and will likely be where first blood is drawn in the battle for the general classification. Stage two is a generally rolling course with a handful of category three climbs early in the stage that frequently comes down to a sprint from a reduced front group. The third stage sees the riders tackle a lumpy out and back time trial, another key day in the battle for the overall. Day four is a day for the fast guys and the opportunists on a punchy, four corner, 40 lap criterium. The final, decisive day of racing pits the riders against five categorized climbs, for almost 10,000ft of elevation gain on the stage, including two ascents of the “Gila Monster.”
For Luis Villalobos, who place second overall in the best young rider competition last year, this is a chance for the Mexican to shine.
“It is the first really hard race in the US and one of the hardest races all year due to the fact that the race is at altitude in Silver City,” Villalobos said. “The five stages suit me well and the race is one of my big objectives for this season. I’m looking to give a full effort and have fun with the team as we race and learn. I hope that the hard work I’ve been doing shows in the race.”
Joining Villalobos is Michael Hernandez who took two fifth place stage placings during last year’s event.
“I'm really looking forward to returning to Gila with Aevolo seeing how this race was a pivotal point in my season last year,” Hernandez said. “The race saw me finish with two fifth places on stages, but also took me out of the racing scene for some time after a fractured arm and some other injuries that occurred on the last stage. I am motivated more than ever to improve on my stage results from last year and assist my teammates in the hunt for the overall.”
Alongside Villalobos and Hernandez will be Fernando Lopez, Jason Saltzman, Tyler Stites, Alex Hoehn and Gage Hecht who put on an impressive display during last year’s criterium.
With a strong and multifaceted roster, Aevolo looks to improve on results from last year and to continue to display our ability to contend with the other heavy hitting teams at the biggest races in America.