For the past 28 years, Silver City, New Mexico, has hosted the Tour of the Gila. But that may end soon.
Earlier this week, race directors received word that a title sponsor had to pull its investment from the stage race. The 2015 Tour of the Gila, which is scheduled to begin April 29, is now in jeopardy of being canceled.
Friday, race directors officially announced the situation in hopes of drawing in what they called “angel sponsors” to help save the event.
To date, over 600 racers have registered for the race, across its many categories. Those numbers include members of five international teams and, currently, six domestic men’s pro teams, as well as three international and, currently, five women’s pro teams. Additionally, the women’s pro race is to have UCI sanctioning for the first time.
The five-day race has traditionally been scheduled between Arkansas’ Joe Martin stage race and the Amgen Tour of California. Registrations for both international and domestic teams are at an all-time high, organizers said.
The Tour of the Gila has overcome a similar challenge in the past.
“We faced race cancellation in 2009,” race director Jack Brennan said. “Once the word went out, the cycling community rose to the occasion and the race became one of the most successfully-attended races in Gila’s history. This is a grassroots event that relies largely on the unparalleled support of the Silver City community, which is a major feat in a town of 10,000 people.”
The race still has a chance to continue for amateurs and pro riders, according to organizers.
“While [making this announcement] was very difficult, we felt that it was important to go forward with [it] with the goal of saving and furthering the legacy the Gila for 2015,” Brennan said. “We’ve always been known for being able to pull off a lot for a little and the door is open for a few companies or individuals to obtain a title sponsorship for this year.”
For more information on securing title sponsorship, please contact Jack Brennan at 575-590-2612.