Hoping to bring back the glory cycling days of the past, gran fondo organiser Roll Massif has added to its portfolio of eight Colorado, USA based gran fondo events with the acquisition of the Enchanted Circle Bicycle Tour in Red River, New Mexico. The 43rd edition will be held this year on 28 August, on a 100-mile route through the quaint Northern New Mexico villages of Questa, Taos, Angel Fire, and Eagle Nest, topping out at almost 10000 feet over Bobcat Pass.
The rural route high in the Sange de Christo Range features 6900 feet of climbing with amazing views of the Southern Rockies as it circumnavigates Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico at 13161 feet.
The Enchanted Circle Bicycle Tour was formerly known as the Enchanted Circle Century and was the premier cycling event in the Southwestern USA in the 1990s, attracting elite and pro teams from throughout America as well as thousands of amateur cyclists each September.
Unfortunately, over the last decade the event fell on hard times with poor management, marketing, and not adapting to changing rider demographics. In 2018 and 2019 participation had dwindled to only a couple hundred riders and winning rimes slowed to over 5 hours, far off the record pace of 3:58:04 set in the mid 1990’s by American racing legend Kent Bostic.
As in previous years the ride will start on Main Street in downtown Red River and immediately launch riders downhill at 40mph for the first 10 miles. The finish is a bit more challenging, at mile 90 riders must ascend the category 1 Bobcat Pass climb to 10000 feet, then race down a hair raising 3 mile descent to finish on Main Street in Red River.
PHOTOS: Red River Miner, Roll Massif