2-time winner Abbott returns to Silver City's Tour of the Gila


Strong women's field  to deliver exciting racing

Silver City, N.M. (March 27, 2013) — Returning to road racing after a one-year hiatus, 2010 Giro Donne winner and two-time USA Cycling road national champion Mara Abbott has hilghlighted the Silver City's Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM as one of her goals this year. After all, the race does hold a special place in the heart of the two-time overall champion (2007, 2010).

Mara Abbott will be hoping to ascend to the top of the podium in New Mexico, this year. (Photo by Lyne Lamoureux)
Mara Abbott will be hoping to ascend to the top of the podium in New Mexico, this year. (Photo by Lyne Lamoureux)
“I am so excited to get to return to Gila. It is a race where I have had success in the past, and also a race that is nostalgically significant to me in terms of my personal development. There are stages there that are particularly special to me and I love how much the community is behind the race! Silver City is such a wonderful host town and I am thrilled they are supporting the race again this year!” said Abbott of the ExergyTWENTY16 team.

Abbott is not the only racer that has circled the dates of May 1-5, in her calendar. After coming close three years, Alison Powers of the NOW and Novartis for MS team, wants to stand on that top step on the final day.

“Personally Gila is one of my favorite races. It's where I started. It was my very first (USA Cycling National Racing Calendar) NRC race and I like Silver City. It's comfortable. I've had really good success there except for winning the overall title. That is one of my goals. My team NOW and Novartis is stronger than ever and we're excited to win races and not get second all the time.” Powers said with a chuckle. She claimed two second place overall as well as a third place in the past four years.

Looking at contenders, one has to include the Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies team who won the 2012 USA Cycling NRC Individual and Team classifications.

“The Tour of the Gila is one of the most difficult races on the NRC calendar. The combination of the climbing and altitude causes a lot of pain and suffering, but it's a race we all look forward to every year. Silver City is a beautiful place to race and we appreciate the support we get from the local community.” commented Optum's Jade Wilcoxson who finished third on the 2012 NRC after a breakthrough season. “I'm confident Optum Pro Cycling will be one of the strongest teams in the race and will be difficult to beat.”

Race director Jack Brennan stated, “The racing should be exciting with so many strong riders and teams vying for the victory. Since our first Tour of the Gila in 1987, women's racing has been integral  to our event, and our commitment continues 27 years later. This year we plan on providing live race updates of both the women's and men's racing for each of the five stages.”

The 2013 Silver City's Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM consists of five stages – three road stages, one individual time trial and one criterium – with approximately 15,000 feet of climbing overall. The race culminates with the Gila Monster road stage - the make or break Queen Stage – with 5,610 feet of climbing and 4,714 feet of descending over 71.8 miles.

Additional teams as well as the final roster will be announced in the coming weeks. Registration is currently open at bikereg.com.

For complete race schedule and more information about 2013 Silver City's Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM, please visit www.tourofthegila.com.

This Article Updated March 27, 2013 @ 08:50 PM For more information contact: