La Vuelta de Bisbee, one of America's longest-running stage races, is gearing up for its 31st edition on April 24-26. Set in Southern Arizona, the four-stage event includes several tough climbs and is a popular tune-up event for the Tour of the Gila in neighboring New Mexico the following weekend.
Event director Albert Hopper is looking for more entries for the men's pro-am field. Several pro teams including Fly V Australia/Successful Living, Team Type 1 and Colavita Sutter Home have expressed an interest in riding La Vuelta.
"This is a great way to prepare for the Tour of the Gila, and fills out the schedule since there will be no Tour of Georgia this year," Hopper said. "We expect some pro riders." Phil Zajicek, 2006 pro winner, will be back this year.
La Vuelta consists of a hill climb time trial Friday, a road race and time trial on Saturday, and a road race on Sunday. The road race courses have been changed a bit this year. Saturday's Sulphur Springs Road Race will be a single 82.5-mile loop which will include the breathtaking climb up Mule Pass.
Both road races will finish in downtown Bisbee this year, excusing riders from the leg-sapping 2.8-mile climb that topped Sunday's concluding Tombstone Road Race in past years.
For more information on La Vuelta de Bisbee visit www.lvdb.info.