Taking the tour: local cyclists gear up for the 36th

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By Gabriel Vasquez

The New Mexico cycling community is in for a treat.

The Roadrunners Cycling Club will host the longest-running bicycle race in the state July 20: the 36th annual Tour de Los Alamos.

The 27-mile open highway race that traverses the Hill and White Rock is a “beautiful and challenging course,” as one local volunteer organizer puts it.

“It’s probably one of the most picturesque races,” said organizer Carolyn Zerkle. “It’s challenging, you have to climb up the truck route, and there are some very challenging curves in Ancho Canyon.”

The projected field for this year’s race is 200 cyclists, 40 percent local and 60 percent from other parts of the state, and a select few from around the country.

All top finishers in the various categories will receive monetary prizes. There will be a total purse of around $1,200 for all riders.

Elite cyclists are scheduled for three laps, Intermediate cyclists will race two laps, and citizen participants will race one.

Beginners in the race typically range in age from 12-80.

“Young kids and old folks should do this together,” Zerkle said. “I’ve been just a watcher but it’s very exciting. I’ve been the wife on the side of the road waving and cheering with my kids.”

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