All the world’s a Stage . . .

The world of bicycle racing is a pretty strange world, and one of the strangest places is southern New Mexico: The final stage of 161.9 km (100.6 miles) and total elevation gain of 9,131 ft (2,783 m), known as The Gila Monster, finished on the continental divide at Pinos Altos, NM, (over 7,000 ft. above sea level), the main feature of which is a restaurant-bar and honky-tonk, The Buckhorn Saloon, a former brothel and proud of it.

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Rally Cycling, after winning Tour of the Gila 2017. Evan Huffman, center in red leader jersey, was the overall winner over five days of racing. Two not pictured.

But maybe the strangest thing about a pro cycling race is that it’s a team event that a team can’t win. Instead, an individual racer pulls out victory. At Tour of the Gila, considered one of the most grueling races in the world, Evan Huffman figured out a way to do that, but he could not have done so without his team pictured above. From left, Sepp Kuss, Adam DeVos, Eric (in green sprinter leader’s jersey), Evan (overall winner), Rob Britton (who ended the day as best climber jersey, known as King of the Montain), and Mateo Del Cin (Stage One winner) were six of the keys to victory, but Danny Pate who serves as their road general, and Colin Joyce, third place on Stage One that began the weekend, were still coming in.

This table shows the rider standings before the final stage of racing:

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In this table, far right shows the amount of time a rider had to make up to put himself into the overall lead. On the last day Evan Huffman had 25 seconds on Eisenhart, 33 seconds on Ellsay, 34 seconds on Tvetcov and 38 seconds on Mannion. (The two other riders within one minute of Evan were teammates Dal Cin and Britton.) The rider in 14th place Naveaz won the day’s race but not by a large enough margin to make any difference in the overall five-day race, because he’d started the day down 1:39.

At the day’s podium presentations, after all the real prizes had been announced Rally Cycling, the whole team, took to the platform as the fastest overall team.

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