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Tour of the Gila: Tyler Stites wins men's stage 4 criterium

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Tour of the Gila stage 4 2022 men

Tour of the Gila stage 4 2022 men (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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This was the view of the race for most of the day. Project Echelon on the front maintaining control of the field.

This was the view of the race for most of the day. Project Echelon on the front maintaining control of the field. (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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With 20 laps to go, the break of three had dwindled down to just Cyrus Monk (Meiyo CCN Pro Cycling).

With 20 laps to go, the break of three had dwindled down to just Cyrus Monk (Meiyo CCN Pro Cycling). (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Stage 3 winner George Simpson (Project Echelon, left) put teammate Tyler Stites (Green jersey, right) just where he wanted to be as he opened up his sprint in the final 100m.

Stage 3 winner George Simpson (Project Echelon, left) put teammate Tyler Stites (Green jersey, right) just where he wanted to be as he opened up his sprint in the final 100m. (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Matteo Dal-Cin (Toronto Hustle) maintains a 34 second lead over Tyler Stites (Project Echelon) headed into Sunday's Queen stage, The Gila Monster.

Matteo Dal-Cin (Toronto Hustle) maintains a 34 second lead over Tyler Stites (Project Echelon) headed into Sunday's Queen stage, The Gila Monster. (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Callups for the men's Crit: Xander White (CS Velo) in White, Tyler Stites (Project Echelon Racing) in Green, Matteo Dal-Cin in Red, and Heiner Parra Bustamante (Canel's Zerouno) in Polka dots.

Callups for the men's Crit: Xander White (CS Velo) in White, Tyler Stites (Project Echelon Racing) in Green, Matteo Dal-Cin in Red, and Heiner Parra Bustamante (Canel's Zerouno) in Polka dots. (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Cyrus Monk (Meiyo CCN Pro Cycling) receiving much deserved post-race congratulations for being in the break for more than 25 laps.

Cyrus Monk (Meiyo CCN Pro Cycling) receiving much deserved post-race congratulations for being in the break for more than 25 laps. (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Stage 4 podium: Tyler Stites (Project Echelon racing) 1st, Samuel Voklers, 2nd, (Meiyo CCN Pro Cycling) 2nd, George Simpson (Project Echelon Racing) 3rd.

Stage 4 podium: Tyler Stites (Project Echelon racing) 1st, Samuel Voklers, 2nd, (Meiyo CCN Pro Cycling) 2nd, George Simpson (Project Echelon Racing) 3rd. (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Men's Classification jersey after Stage 3: Tyler Stites (Project Echelon Racing) in Green, Heiner Parra Bustamante (Canel's Zerouno) in Polka dots, Matteo Dal-Cin in Red, and Xander White (CS Velo) moves into the White Best young Rider jersey

Men's Classification jersey after Stage 3: Tyler Stites (Project Echelon Racing) in Green, Heiner Parra Bustamante (Canel's Zerouno) in Polka dots, Matteo Dal-Cin in Red, and Xander White (CS Velo) moves into the White Best young Rider jersey (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Stage 4 Winner Tyler Stites and teammate Stephen Vogel (Project Echelon racing) take a post-race interview for the livestream.

Stage 4 Winner Tyler Stites and teammate Stephen Vogel (Project Echelon racing) take a post-race interview for the livestream. (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

Tyler Stites (Project Echelon Racing) won the men's stage 4 criterium held in downtown Silver City on Saturday evening at the Tour of the Gila. Stites won the bunch sprint ahead of Samuel Volkers (MEIYO CCN) with his Project Echelon teammate George Smith finishing third.

“I think we had a good plan today and followed it perfectly and executed that and accomplished it,” Stites said in a post-race press release.

There was no change to the top three positions in the overall classification with Matteo Dal-Cin (Toronto Hustle) leading the race, however, by virtue of capturing time bonuses during the criterium, Stites is now only 34 seconds behind. 

Torbjørn Røed (Yoeleo Test Team) is in third place overall at 1:03 back as the race heads into the finale stage 5, a challenging 162km from Silver City to the summit of the 11km climb to Piños Altos on Sunday.

“Tomorrow I’m sure it’s going to be a little bit less straight forward than today,” Dal-Cin said. “[There will] be a lot more bombs being thrown, but I think that’s all right. Tyler brought back some time today, but tomorrow you can put minutes in, so anything can happen. There’s tons of guys still in the race. It’s definitely not a two-horse race by any means, so it’ll just be a hard day of slugging it out and hopefully the strongest guy comes out on top.”

The men's criterium was 70km (40 laps) largely dominated by Project Echelon in the hunt for time bonuses offered during the evening race. There were three bonus sprints, with time and sprint points offered to the first three riders to cross the line, along with time bonuses and points offered at the finish line.

Stites is not only positioned as the runner-up in the overall classification but is also leading the sprint classification at the Tour of the Gila.

An early breakaway cleared the field that included Cyrus Monk (Meiyo CCN Pro Cycling), who was later joined by Joey Bacala (Landis/Trek) and Jovanni Stefani (Team California/HMS). Monk picked up the majority of the sprint points and time bonuses during the race.

However, the field was back together with just a few laps remaining, in anticipation of a bunch sprint won by Stites, who secured the time bonus and points offered at the finish line.

The Tour of the Gila will concluded on Sunday with the Gila Monster stage that finishes atop Piños Altos. The stage includes 9,131 feet of climbing and the steepest climb tops out at an elevation of 7,493 feet.

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.

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