Save more on your favourite summer Essential kit | Shop now for a limited time only

Skinny tyres and road bikes - a new adventure for Steve Tilford Foundation Racing.

Photos: Sydney Lewis

Recently, a full squad of 6 women from all over North America came together for the first time to form a composite road team with Steve Tilford Foundation Racing for the iconic UCI stage race The Tour of the Gila.

The Tour of the Gila is a 5-stage race based out of Silver City, New Mexico - which sits at an elevation of 6,000 ft (1800 m). Not only do you need to come to embrace The Tour of the Gila with fitness, but the lung capacity as well. The week starts with back-to-back road races, an out-and-back time trial, a criterium, and a road race on the final day that finishes at the top of Pinos Altos - a tiny mountain town that sits at 7,000 ft.

Stage 1

Creating even more space for women

The opportunity for the organisation behind Steve Tilford Foundation Racing to compose a women’s team for the race was not to be missed.

“Now is the time to step up and create more space for women to race at the highest level. There is so much talent based in North America, and I’m pinching myself that I have the opportunity to work with this squad alongside a director legend, Katheryn Curi,” says Steve Tilford Foundation Racing owner and founder Raylyn Nuss.

“Each woman on this roster comes with their own unique story, and everyone on this roster is inspiring in their way. These women not only race their bikes at the highest level but juggle school and work to be able to keep their dream of racing their bikes alive. We had riders taking their final exams, and teaching French classes while they were settling down to rest before the next day’s stages,” says Raylyn Nuss.

Stage 2

More than results

In the end, the week was about more than the results. It was an opportunity to provide women with the support to develop their skills and race their bikes at the highest level.

The team had a rider, Cecile Lejeune, make her first-ever UCI podium on the time trial and also post the fastest descent of the day on Stage 2 - men or women.

The cherry on top, according to Raylyn Nuss, was having one of the riders, Marcela Prieto Castañeda, finish 4th in the GC. The composite team also finished 4th in the overall team classification.

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5