Cycling fans will be able to watch every moment of Tour of the Gila’s criterium live on May 2 for free thanks to CycleStream TV, the Los Angeles-based crew announced Monday.
Every race from amateur to pro that day will be broadcast using full 4k technology, also known as ultra high definition, which is four times the resolution of full HD, according to CycleStream.
“Gila is one of the most unique races in America, and it plays an important role for teams like Wildlife Generation and others looking to develop top American talent,” said CycleStream owner Leah Sturgis. “After seeing what our coverage of Redlands last year was able to do for the event, I knew we had to expand the model to other races.”
Sturgis said she chose Tour of the Gila after visiting the race last year and learning the event had failed to secure a title sponsor for 2020 and faced the possibility of folding after 33 years.
She stepped in with funding from CycleStream TV and Wildlife Generation to allow the event to continue in 2020 and hopes the livestream will bring renewed interest in the iconic American five-day stage race situated in Silver City, N.M.
Tour of the Gila race director Jack Brennan said the livestream will allow the race to court more and larger sponsors across the state and region.
“This partnership not only saves the race for 2020, but allows our organization to showcase Silver City and Tour of the Gila to partners across the state and secure more broad funding to ensure the lasting security of the race,” Brennan said.
He said he’s excited to have Sturgis and her team at Tour of the Gila this year, streaming the downtown crit all day, including all amateur categories and the two UCI races.
“It’s important to Leah to cover the amateur races, and I feel the same way,” Brennan said. “Family members, friends, and teammates will be able to watch these folks ride at Gila this year and I think that is great.”
Brennan said the live coverage not only will showcase the race, but it will also highlight Silver City.
“Silver City is a wonderful community and a great place to live,” Brennan said. “This will give our community, our race and our state a great opportunity to get the word out to those watching this event of how wonderful our corner of New Mexico is.”
Sturgis will direct the live show and tapped Brad Sohner to produce. Sohner also will join bike racing veteran Dave Towle in the booth for commentating.
“I am so stoked to cover the racing all day on Saturday,” Towle said. “Nothing beats giving the amateur racers some well deserved time in the limelight. This race is such a huge part of American racing history and seeing Tour of the Gila continue to have such a huge impact on peoples lives, it’s what sport is all about.”
He added: “Great cities are all about world class events, and thanks to Jack and his team we made it to the 34th edition. As far as the pro men and women go, it’s going to be bananas, and I can’t wait for gladiators of the road to be back in Silver City. This is my favorite stage race of the year!”
Coverage will feature high definition cameras, aerial drone coverage and on-board cameras as part of the free livestream. CycleStream also will produce daily highlights from both UCI races each night, and viewers can watch live at cyclestream.tv.
Gateway Devo Cycling team owner Chris Creed, whose team will compete in the UCI men’s race at Tour of the Gila, called livestreaming the crit “incredible.”
“It not only gives us as team owners an opportunity to see all the thrills and excitement that bike racing can deliver, but also provides access to our riders’ families, our sponsors, and probably most importantly, the next generation of racers who are at home beginning the process of dreaming to become a bike racer,” Creed said.
Livestreaming will begin May 2 at 8 a.m. Mountain Standard Time on cyclestream.tv. Tour of the Gila takes place April 29-May 3 in Silver City, N.M.