With a reputation of being one of North America’s toughest stage races, mobius BridgeLane is privileged to be invited back to the 32nd edition of the Tour of the Gila held in Silver City, New Mexico, starting tomorrow morning.
After a fantastic week in Fayetteville, Arkansas, mobius BridgeLane is looking to capitalise on their success and form from the past week.
The motivated seven-man team will be lead by road captain, Brad Evans. Three riders will join the team in Silver City fresh off the Joe Martin Stage Race, including U23 winner Angus Lyons.
The Tour of the Gila is a fixture on the USA Pro Road Series – the equivalent to the Australian National Road Series) – stage five features the Gila Monster finish, undeniably one of the hardest climbs in North American road racing. All eyes will be on our climber Alex Evans as he continues his strong form from the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
We are excited to see the return of Dylan Newbery from injury. Dylan will join the team again after missing out on the Jayco Herald Sun Tour due to fracturing his wrist in the New Zealand Cycle Classic just two weeks before. After an extended rest period, Dylan’s hand has healed swiftly and he is in top shape for both the Tour of the Gila and Redlands Bicycle Classic.
“Coming back from injury is always a nervous time and to start racing again with a challenging UCI tour makes everything more interesting, especially one that I have never raced before,” said Dylan. “The form is really started to come together since getting back into the efforts and longer training ride, but it is still a bit off what it was at nationals.”
Dylan had an exceptional day at the Australian National Championships, driving the breakaway and claiming the KOM and Sprint jerseys.
“The Tour of the Gila is a big race and will be even harder due to the altitude it is raced at. I ll be going into it as well prepared as I can be given the short time between my cast being removed and flying out to America.”
Dylan will be joining his teammates in Silver City prior to the start of the race in order to better acclimate to the altitude. Silver City is situated at 5,895 ft. (1,797 m). Ethan Berends has spent three weeks in Salt Lake City, Utah with family in preparation for the race.
“After racing the Tour of the Gila last year, I know how much the altitude affected me and the team, hence why I have come over to Salt Lake City earlier in order to get used to the thin air before having to race in it,” explained Ethan. “There is so much climbing on offer around Salt Lake City and I am really taking the opportunity to get in some tough training rides before Gila and the Redlands Bicycle Classic.”
“My training so far has been almost perfect. The timing couldn’t have been better with the races that the team has had in the first half of the year. Winning the Gravel and Tar Classic in New Zealand in January and then racing the Jayco Herald Sun Tour really gave me great confidence in my training and form. The multiple 200km stages in February has built upon my racing endurance and I am confident in my form for some of the longer stages in Silver City.”
At only 19 years of age, Ethan showed how much he has matured as a cyclist and teammate at the Sun Tour; he played a pivotal role in setting up Alex for the climb into Lake Mountain.
“In terms of my goals, I really want to show the form that I know I have at the moment and seize every opportunity I can to get results, not only for myself but also for my team. We have so many strong riders on the team at the moment.”
Ethan will be one of three protected riders for mobius BridgeLane alongside Alex Evans and Angus Lyons.
While some of the team raced in Silver City in 2017, others have just heard the stories afterwards. Dylan has raced in the cobbles and headwinds of the Netherlands, but this will be his first time in the desert and wide-open roads of the USA.
“I’ve heard stories of the races in America from the team last year and I can’t wait to be there myself and race on a different continent. Racing is the main reason I ride my bike so especially after my injury, I am excited to be back into it. I hope to be a valued member of the team and I think I’ll be in good enough shape to be.”
The Tour of the Gila covers a total of 526.1km over five days, which includes three road stages, a time trial and a criterium.
Tour of the Gila Roster
Tour of the Gila Stages
Stage One – 148km
Gough Park, Silver City to Mogollon Climb
Stage Two – 120.7km
Fort Bayard to Fort Bayard
Stage Three – 26km
Tyrone Individual Time Trial
Stage Four – 69.5km
Downtown Silver City Criterium
Stage Five – 161.9km
Gough Park, Silver City to Pinos Altos