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Off to the races

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Los Alamos County hosts 'oldest bicycle race in the Southwest'

By Phil Scherer

For the 45th straight year, competitors in the Tour De Los Alamos turned the streets of the county into a high-speed cycling course, resulting in an unforgettable event.

The race, which was described by organizers as the “oldest bicycle race in the Southwest,” attracted more than 100 people to the area.

Race director Cyndi Wells said that people came from hundreds of miles around to take part, including multiple racers from Texas and Colorado.

“I’m always super excited to see lots of people coming in from out of town,” Wells said.

She said that although there are some people who come back year after year for the race, it is the infusion of new racers each year that keeps the race as successful as it has become.

“We had lots of people say that they would definitely be coming back next year, and that they would be bringing even more of their friends with them,” Wells said.

Registration has steadily increased in the past few years, and Wells said she expects that to continue into the future.

“I think after the great race we had this weekend, the word is going to really get out about our race and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the turnout looks like next year,” Wells said.

This year, the top overall winners were Fortunato Ferrara for the men and Mindy Caruso for the women. Each was awarded a $300 cash prize.

Wells described Ferrara as a “semi-hometown hero,” since he grew up in this area and has been successful in the race in the past.

He finished with a time of 3:29:19.00, 12 seconds faster than second place finisher Cormac McGeough.

The two of them raced in the Men’s Category 1 division, which completed three laps around the 27-mile course.

Caruso was the winner in the Women’s Category 1 division, which completed two laps around the track. She finished with a time of 2:45:00.00, 11 seconds faster than second-place finisher Gretchen Selby.

Overall, Wells felt the race was a great success and said she heard from multiple people that the event is the “best cycling race in the whole Southwest.”

She said that both Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Los Alamos County Police Department were vital in having the race run smoothly, especially with the role both played in keeping traffic moving and the racers safe.

Wells said that everything worked out for the race, including having plenty of volunteers and nice weather during the race.

As the race director, she said that she is thrilled when all the cyclists take off at the finish line, but she just hopes they all return to the finish line safely.

“When everyone is able to cross the finish line without incident, that’s when I’m really thrilled,” Wells said.

She added that she loves being a part of this race and looks forward to continue to be involved.

Wells said, “What really hits home for me is how great of a community we have here, and how everyone comes together to make this happen each and every year.”