Olympic Cyclist, Nelson Vails, Among Participants
SANTA FE – September 9, 2021 – GFNY Santa Fe returns to the GFNY World racing calendar on September 19, 2021. This year’s participants include Olympic cyclist—and the first African American to win an Olympic medal in cycling—Nelson Vails.
Vails, who worked as a bike messenger in New York City and played a bike messenger in the movie Quicksilver, won a gold medal in the Pan American Games in the individual sprint in 1983 and the silver medal in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Coming back for his second year to GFNY Santa Fe, Vails cites Santa Fe’s incredible scenery, art, and challenging altitude among his reasons for returning.
“GFNY Santa Fe was an eye-opener, because of the altitude,” said Vails. “It’s a good feat in a fun way. Once I was able to climb out of town, I was able to enjoy my ride for the entire loop. You can ride at your own pace, but you’ve got to look around at all the scenery. The best part of GFNY Santa Fe is that for the recreational cyclists and the elite top of the line cyclists, you get to come test your skills and enjoy yourself at the same time.”
In addition to Vails, GFNY Santa Fe offers elite and recreational cyclists a rare opportunity in the U.S. to race a long-distanced marathon with the roads closed or monitored. Riders get to race the challenging 75-mile high-altitude course with 7,150 feet of climbing and a peak elevation of 10,350 feet at the finish high atop Santa Fe. The course transitions from the open plains and high desert to the dense pine, fir, aspen and spruce forests of the high mountains.
Following the race, there will be a block party with New Mexican food and local microbrews. Held this year on September 19th, riders will experience the beauty of Santa Fe as the seasons change, along with the area’s world-famous history, culture, art and cuisine.
For more information go to GFNY Santa Fe.