Gila hero

Tour of the Gila announces the date of its 37th edition and introduces new race director

By: Jennifer Olson  December 18, 2023

The 2024 event will include both UCI and amateur bicycle races.

The 37th edition of Tour of the Gila is planned for April 24-28, 2024. The UCI- and USA Cycling-sanctioned American bicycle race also introduces Michael Engleman as the 2024 Race Director.

The nonprofit Gila Community and Tourism Development, which organizes Tour of the Gila, will again offer the five-stage UCI-sanctioned races for women’s and men’s pro and amateur-elite teams from across the globe. “The Tour of the Gila UCI races should be bigger than ever,” Engleman asserts, listing Tashkent City Women’s Pro Cycling Team and Project Echelon as examples of teams that will participate in the 2024 event.

Plus, to better accommodate amateur racers, the race organization is considering changes to the USA Cycling categories. Tour of the Gila may adjust the format based on a USA Cycling study that names scheduling as a common barrier to participation. “Since the race’s inception in 1987, competitive cyclists at every level have targeted Tour of the Gila as the ride of a lifetime. We want to ensure our event remains accessible to racers in non-pro categories,” Engleman says, offering further clarification. “The goal is not to cut back on the amateur races but rather to attract even more riders by offering options that are do-able for the modern cyclist.”

Registration for the amateur races will open in January 2024. Interested riders may sign up to receive an email alert at that time by visiting and completing the form on the homepage.

Director of Mission Sports Group, in Dolores, Colorado, Engleman has served as the Director of Competition for the UCI division of Tour of the Gila since 2012. So when longtime Race Director Jack Brennan again announced his retirement, Engleman took over the position to ensure continuity. “It’s wonderful having Michael leading us and moving us forward,” retired Race Director and current board member Jack Brennan says. “He knows what Tour of the Gila means to racers and for cycling generally in the U.S. It’s an important race, and Michael helped build it.”

With an equestrian as well as a cycling background, Engleman carries the lessons he’s learned from horse training into professional sports, in which he has been involved for over 30 years as an athlete, coach and consultant. Engleman’s experience informs his perspective on Tour of the Gila, which is recognized as a key stepping stone for American cyclists striving toward World Tour racing careers and which is also vital to the careers of athletes from our neighboring Mexico and Canada as well as many other countries.

To support American stage racing, Tour of the Gila organizers are leading discussions with USA Cycling and its sponsors. “We do our part to support the sport’s growth by organizing the only UCI stage race that allows amateur races on the same roads on the same days,” Engleman says.

Tour of the Gila is an iconic American road bicycling race that is renowned across the globe for its five challenging stages. As a UCI-sanctioned stage race, Tour of the Gila is the proving ground where pro and elite amateur racers showcase their talent. Also sanctioned by USA Cycling, Tour of the Gila attracts amateur cyclists wanting to experience southwest New Mexico’s notoriously steep and scenic roads while testing their physical limits. Since 1987, Tour of the Gila has highlighted the state’s rich history and landscape, including the region that inspired the creation of the Wilderness Act, its robust farming, ranching and mining heritage, a growing creative community, and mountains that make for a cyclist’s dream playground.