At the finish line of the infamous Tour of the Gila, a five-stage road race through New Mexico with gruelling climbs and altitude changes, Whistler’s Will Routley was in 28 th place overall out of 90 racers in the Pro Men’s group, and fourth among Canadians.
The race takes place over five days, starting with a short 15.7 mile (25.3 kilometre) there and back race. Sound easy enough? Then add about 1,070 feet of vertical.
The second day is a 92 mile (148 km) stage race with 5,650 feet of climbing.
Stage three is 73 miles (117.5 km) with a full 5,150 feet of vertical.
Stage four is the criterium with the pros making 40 laps of a 1.08 mile (1.7 km) course – an easy day to let the competitors rest up for the grand finale: 100 miles (161 km) with a full 9,360 feet of climbing.
To put that into perspective that’s almost the equivalent of climbing to the top of Blackcomb Mountain’s 5,280 feet of vertical twice.
Will Routley’s combined time over the four stages was 19 minutes and 12 seconds back of the leader, Scott Moninger of the American Healthnet/Maxxis Team. Moninger completed the stages in 14 hours, 13 minutes and 54 seconds.
The top Canadian on the list was Victoria mountain biker Roland Green, who was racing for the Canadian National Team. He was exactly eight minutes behind Moninger.
Marsh Cooper of Canada was 12 th overall 9:16 back of the leader, while racing with the Symmetrics Team. Routley is also part of Symmetrics.
Cory Lange was the third Canadian in 17 th place 11:21 back of the lead while riding for the Canadian National Team.
The Canadian National Team ranked third overall out of 15 teams when the event wrapped up. Symmetrics was fourth.