After almost four hours and 102 miles or racing through the Arizona Sonoran Desert, the 38th El Tour de Tucson gran fondo came down to a small pack of elite cyclists fighting for the win on Saturday. 

And when the final elbowing and sprinting was done as they crossed the finish stripe, it was Mexican Gerardo Ulloa (AR PRO CYCLING) who won the USA’s premier mass-participation gran fondo race on Saturday with a time 3:57:44, stealing the victory from the top American Cycling Championship Criterium rider Josh Rinderknecht and his CINCH team, that included three riders in the lead group, but still could not outride Ulloa. 

The finish was so close that officials mistakenly announced that Rinderknecht had won, before reversing their decision and awarding victory to Ulloa 30 minutes after the riders finsihed. Johnny Corcoran was third at 3:57.45.

A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, the 25-year-old Ulloa is moving closer to a WordTour pro career after adding the Tour de Tucson to his palmares, which already include finishing second at the 2020 Mexican Elite Road Nationals and winning a gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games. 

Olympian Marlies Mejias from Cuba was the top-finishing female rider with a time of 3:59.22.

Ex-pro, disgraced doper and now THC/marijuana salesman Floyd Landis and partner Paul Thomas were the top tandem-bike finishers. 

Over 6500 cyclists participated in the event, including USA Senator and astronaut Mark Kelly, who road alongside his wife, former USA Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

PHOTOS: AZDaily Star

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