Holualoa Companies 26th El Tour de Mesa Sets Two Records: 28-mile event has a new women’s record and tops previous registration numbers
Monday, April 11th, 2016
MESA, Ariz. – The Holualoa Companies El Tour de Mesa saw 1,586 riders enjoy one of the most scenic cycling routes in Arizona. On April 2 cyclists were challenged with demanding ascents and descents, offered a splendid showcase of spectacular scenery, and celebrated the 26th year of the Valley’s premier Perimeter Bicycling event.
This year’s event was dedicated to Nelson Vails – Olympic Silver Medalist, 1984 – who was honored at the Thursday, March 31 Dedication Dinner.
Main event cyclists had their choice of a 72-mile (1,117) or 28-mile distance (new record of 353 cyclists). The longer ride started and finished in downtown Mesa, following a picturesque course through the Lower Salt River Recreation Area andTonto National Forest. The shorter course started atRed Mountain Ranch Elementary School in Mesa and also finished downtown. Fun Ride (86) and Bike Patrol (30) cyclists rounded out the field.
Wouter Zwart and Jo Roberts blazed through the course on Saturday to stand atop the podium as the fastest overall leaders, male and female.
As first men’s finisher Zwart, 25, of Tucson, 2:50:48, took the crown from reigning individual men’s champ Craig Streit, 38, Scottsdale, who had first place finishes for five years in a row. Second place went to Yuri Hrycaj, 26, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2:50:50. Riley Post, 35, Mesa, rounded out the men’s podium with a time of 2:51:33. All top three male finishers in 2016 El Tour de Mesa had raced in the 2016 Two-wheel Jones El Tour Criterium pro 1/2 the previous night – fast guys on both road and crit. (All times are unofficial pending confirmation.)
The crowds witnessed more excitement as a top chase pack roared to the finish line with one woman in the group – Jo Roberts, 56, Tucson, 2:57:22.Roberts was 58th place overall and less than seven minutes behind the overall leader. As the winningest female in Perimeter Bicycling events, she’s been on the podium multiple times, in multiple venues, and in many distances. Stephany Newmeyer, 45, Goodyear, was second for women at 3:03:46, while Donna Kirby, 44, Menifee, CA rounded out the women’s podium with 3:03:48.
The number one men’s tandem with Daniel Parkman, 27, and Eli Roberts, 34, Tucson, came in at 2:56:57 and made it look easy. But looks can be deceiving – they had done the last three miles on a flat tire. Mixed Tandem first place was Catherine Stevens, 44, and Richard Stevens, 45, Vail 2:58:38. No women’s tandem in the 72 mile event.
Denise Mueller crushed the women’s 28-mile course record. Mueller, 43, Carlsbad, CA, crossed the finish line in 1:13:55. Stay tuned for her attempt as the first woman in cycling history to attempt a paced bicycle land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in September. Second place for two years in a row was Tui Marion, 37, Queen Creek, 1:19:59. Natalie Fernau, 15, Show Low, took third in 1:20:00.
The men’s 28 miler saw Michael Hemmerlin take the top spot. Hemmerlin, 16, of Mesa finished in 1:11:09 and has been riding this event since he was seven years old. Second was Zachary Fernau, 13, Show Low, 1:13:56 followed by third place Todd Fernau, 40, Show Low, 1:13:56.
Three of the top winners in the 28-mile event are from the Fernau family – notice that Dad (Todd), son (Zachary), and daughter (Natalie) all came in on top.
As central Arizona’s premier springtime cycling event, El Tour de Mesa had the help of over 400 volunteers. Since its inception, the event has welcomed more than 25,000 participants and has raised nearly $500,000 for charities. This year’s event benefits Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Uphill Into The Wind, ALS Arizona Chapter, Easter Seals Southwest Human Development, Marc Community Resources, National MS Society AZ Chapter, The Winded Foundation and Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc.
The 2016 event was supported by Holualoa Companies, Berge Ford, AZ-1 DMAT, CycloMesa, KAZ TV, MC Life, Pactimo, Paragon Cycling, Safeway, TransCity Property Management, Two-wheel Jones, Valley Guide/Madden Media and Visit Mesa.
Click for complete results for Holualoa Companies 26th El Tour de Mesa.
Commemorate your ride with a spiffy event jersey. We still have some El Tour de Mesa jerseys in select sizes. Call 855-745-2033 to snag yours.
Check out the photos and videos on our EL Tour de Mesa Facebook page and share yours!
Tail Winds Summer Issue will include official results, awards and comprehensive event coverage. Event participants will have Tail Winds mailed to their home. You may read Tail Winds online, or pick up a copy at your local bike shop.
About Perimeter Bicycling
Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc. is a non-profit organization responsible for the production of three major cycling events inArizona, including Cenpatico Integrated Care 29th Cochise County Cycling Classic presented by Canyon Vista Medical Center, October 8 and El Tour de Tucson presented by Casino del Sol Resort, November 19.