Cycling: Tour de LA returns for its 38th year

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By The Staff

It bills itself as the “Oldest Bicycle Race in the Southwest,” and it’s returning for another go-round in 2011.
The Tour de Los Alamos is on tap for yet another spin around the county. It will be run on Father’s Day, the 38th consecutive year it has been held. It’s hosted by the Roadrunners Cycling Club.
Registration for the event is still open online for those wishing to participate.
The Tour features a challenging 27-mile loop, which starts near NM 501 near Los Alamos National Laboratory property, winds through the Back Gate, down to White Rock on NM 4, then back up the Truck Route.
The top men’s race category features three laps, a total of 81 miles, and approximately 6,000 total feet of climbing.
The race is part of the New Mexico Road Series and annually attracts some of the top competitors from around the state and more than a few top riders in the region.
In 2010, Rotem Ishai of Durango, Colo., took the top honors in the men’s pro 1/2/3 category, just nipping one of New Mexico’s top on- and off-road riders, Damian Calvert of Albuquerque.
Ishai is a seven-time Israeli Mountain Bike national champion. Ishai, who also led a big contingent of riders from Fort Lewis College, held off Calvert to complete the 81-mile course in 3 hours, 29 minutes, 59 seconds, a mere one second better than Calvert.
The top finisher from Los Alamos in 2010 was Fortunato Ferrara, who came in third with a time of 3:30:06. Ferrera won the Tour the previous year.
Just 47 seconds separated the top four racers in the top men’s category.
Mindy Caruso of Albuquerque had the best finish in the women’s 1/2/3 category.
Caruso completed the two-lap course in 2:25:47, more than four minutes ahead of runner-up Stacey Nenninger, also of Albuquerque.
This year’s race boasts more than $3,000 in cash and prizes, including a purse worth more than $1,600 in the men’s top category.