Gran Fondo a Huge Success!

The Desert Springs Gila Monster Gran Fondo was held this past Saturday on October 14th, 2017, with cyclists riding 115, 78, and 40 mile courses and was a huge success!  Rider participation was up over 40% this year over last year. Cyclists in the 115 mile ride covered the iconic Gila Monster route that is the same as the last day’s ride of the spring Tour of the Gila. There was an amazing group of riders who came to participate in this year’s fun ride Gran Fondo event. Joining the field of riders from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Colorado, and California, there were participants from as far away as Washington state, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Illinois, and even a rider from Germany. Congratulations to the riders who completed the course in the fastest time. Recognition was given to these top participants, per ride length, male/female categories. Congratulations to all:

115 Mile Gran Fondo Male:

  1. Fortunato Ferrara, from RA Apparel BMS, Santa Fe, NM  (Completed course in 5:27:34)
  2. Marcel Berger, from Zia Velo Cycling, Las Cruces, NM (Completed course in 5:36:48)
  3. Scott Steffen, from High Desert Bicycles Team, Albuquerque, NM (Completed course in 6:17:25)

115 Mile Gran Fondo Female:

  1. Carly Piccarello, from Santa Fe, NM (Completed course in 6:30:20)

78 Mile Medio Male:

  1. Matthew Muscarella, from New Mexico Bike N Sport, Los Alamos, NM (Completed course in 4:11:05)
  2. Justin Thurnherr, from Silver City, NM (Completed course in 4:15:11)
  3. Matthew Maxfedt, from Arenas Valley, NM (Completed course in 4:18:11)

78 Mile Medio Female:

  1. Tari Thiery, from Edgewood, NM (Completed course 4:47:31)
  2. Kelly Hinkel, from High Desert Bicycles, Albuquerque, NM (Completed course in 4:56:52)
  3. Dorothy Philp, from High Desert Bicycles, Albuquerque, NM (Completed course in 4:56:53)

40 Mile Nano Fondo Male:

  1. James Romero from Albuquerque, NM (Completed course in 2:42:03)
  2. Danan High from Albuquerque, NM (Completed course in 2:42:05)
  3. Ted Frohling, from Summit Velo, Tucson, AZ (Completed course in 2:49:18)

40 Mile Nano Fondo Female:

  1. Erika Villegas, from El Paso, TX (Completed course in 2:44:13)
  2. Kelly Nicholas, from Silver City, NM (Completed course in 2:53:13)
  3. Suzanne Graves, from Silver City, NM (Completed course in 3:01:06)

Along with the ride, day activities at Gough Park included Pedalista, which was a “Celebration of the Bicycle” event held as fundraiser for The Bike Works. There were games and activities such as the Commuter Challenge, the Human Slingshot, the Paperboy Challenge, the Rim Toss, Pedal Go-Karts, Raffle Bikes, music, jumping balloons, and food. The evening concluded with a rider celebration at Little Toad.

Appreciation is extended to this year’s sponsors, Title Sponsor-Desert Springs Physical Therapy. Rest Stop Sponsors-PNM, Gila Hike and Bike, J and J Signs, Jon Saari State Farm, Copies on the Run, Southwest Bone and Joint Institute, SkyWest Media, Holiday Inn Express, Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery, and Morning Star. Additional sponsors-Skratch Labs, Tim Schoeny and Dolores Anderson, The Foundation for Personal Gratification, Aaron’s Sales and Lease, and Reese Remodeling. Special thanks to Silver City Police Department; Silver City Street Department; Silver City Park Department; Grant County Sheriff’s Department; Grant County Amateur Radio Emergency Service; and Silver City Maintenance Department. Thanks is also extended to all the volunteers who helped make the event possible, especially all of the work by Jack Brennan, Event Director.


Plans are well underway for the 32nd Tour of the Gila five-stage race April 18th through the 22nd, 2018. 

A huge thanks to our sponsors for making this event possible.