USA Cycling, the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States, held its annual Masters Road National Championships Aug. 5-8 in the Albuquerque area, including the East Mountains.
USA Cycling organizes competitions throughout the year at various locations around the country in different categories, including races at the junior, collegiate, amateur, elite, and masters levels. The annual Masters Road National Championships consists of cyclists age 35 or older.
This was the first time the annual Masters Road National Championships took place in the Albuquerque area. More than 800 total cyclists from around the country participated, with more than 500 competing in the East Mountain championship road race, according to usacycling.org, and Jessica Campbell, a public information officer with the City of Albuquerque.
The four-day event kicked off with individual time trials on Aug. 5 on Albuquerque’s west side, followed by the two-day championship road race in the East Mountains on Aug. 6 and 7. The event concluded with a criterium—a race consisting of several laps around a closed course—on Aug. 8 at Balloon Fiesta Park.
Races were categorized by gender and age groups, comprising men or women, ages 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, etc. all the way up to cyclists over 75.
The East Mountain races consisted of a one lap, 52-kilometer (or approximately 32.6-mile) course, and a two lap, 105K course. The starting line was at East Mountain High School in Sandia Park. From the starting line, riders went up North Hwy 14 to Hwy 344; east on 344 around the back of South Mountain and down to Frost Road; west on Frost to North 14; and then back up North 14 to the finish line at Paa Ko.