Weather prevents thousands from completing El Tour de Tucson
Editor’s note: El Tour de Tucson was marred by the death of participant who was struck by a car. Read more about the crash here.
About 4,000 of the roughly 8,600 people signed up for El Tour de Tucson either didn’t start or didn’t finish Saturday’s event.
According to analysis by TucsonVelo.com 3,850 people finished one of the four main rides, which was down from 2012 when 6,207 cyclists finished before the 6 p.m. cutoff time. It represents a 35 percent decrease in finishing cyclists from the previous year.
Another 691 people completed the Fun Ride and Bike Patrol, bringing the total number of cyclists to finishing any event yesterday to 4,541. Meaning only 52 percent of the registered participants completed any event.
The weather may have prevented some from starting, but many cyclists gave up after the rain and cold got to them. There were reports around the route of people suffering from hypothermia-like symptoms.
Other cyclists were faced with riding several miles out of the way and unsupported when the Sabino Canyon wash crossing was closed because of flooding at approximately at 10:30 a.m.
Cyclist Giselle Bonilla said she got to the crossing at 10:50 and encountered the closed crossing. Volunteers at the wash said they were waiting on instructions about a reroute. Bonilla and others had to make their own way out of the area and worked around to Tanque Verde and up Sabino Canyon to rejoin the route.
The detour was not supported and had no police presence. Bonilla said the detour ended up making her entire ride 112 miles.
El Tour de Tucson by the numbers:
- 3,850: The number of cyclists who completed one of the four main events.
- 35%: The percent fewer cyclists that finished this year compared the last.
- 657: The number of hometowns of the El Tour de Tucson finishers hail from
- 1: The number miles per hour slower this year’s winner rode compared to last year
- 26%: The number of women finishers
- 6960: The number of miles Paul Woodward would travel from his hometown of Takaka, New Zealand.