Tour of the Gila 2014 | April 30 – May 4 – Stage 1: Silver City – Mongollon, NM | 148km
Day 1 of the Tour of the Gila was the Mogollon stage – 92 miles with a tough mountain top finish.
It was a crazy day. We witnessed the largest crash any of us have ever seen. I would estimate that 75% of the field was either held up or hit the ground and that 50% of the field actually crashed. Before the crash, the peloton was completely together, with just a small group of 4 riders up the road. After the crash there were only 40 guys still racing. As car #1, we had a front row seat as the crash happened at 75kph – and it seemed to go on forever. There were some serious injuries, but so far the reports are that everyone will be OK. Our team had 7 of our 8 riders in the crash. Only 3 of our guys made their way back to the lead group, with two of them needing to chase for 15k.
The 40 man group hit the bottom of the final climb to Mogollon together. We still had Carter, Routley, and Bjorn. Bjorn sacrificed for the team to keep Will and Carter in contention. Carter was very good and finished 5th place. Will was about 50 seconds back. While Jamis dominated, going 1-2-3, we are still in a very good position for the overall with Carter only 12 seconds back on GC. We will also be shooting for stage wins for the next three stages and then hoping to move up on GC on stage 5.
Photo © Casey Gibson