Cycling in Southern Arizona will get a major boost in 2022 when the inaugural El Tour de Zona takes place March 25-27 in and around towns of Sierra Vista, Tombstone and Bisbee.
The three-day, fully supported bicycle event will feature cycling throughout the day and then play host to a fun festival event at night.
“It is exciting to bring a multi-day recreational cycling event to Southern Arizona,” said TJ Juskiewicz, executive director of El Tour de Tucson. “This is a new style of event for road cycling in our area that puts an emphasis on fun and camaraderie over how fast you can go. There will be plenty of excitement on and off the bike!”
El Tour de Zona is presented by Perimeter Bicycling, the home of El Tour de Tucson.
El Tour de Zona will benefit VeloVets Sierra Vista. About 1,000 are projected to participate in the three-day event. Sierra Vista is 23 miles from Tombstone and 30 miles from Bisbee.
“How cool is all this?” said Stuart Carter, president and CEO of VeloVets Sierra Vista. “VeloVets is excited and honored to be part of this event.
“This is a huge cycling area and Perimeter Bicycling tends to bring groups of cyclists through here because it’s a great destination to ride. We have a lot of great cycling areas here.”
Cyclists will enjoy riding the scenic, low traffic roads of Cochise County while visiting some of the state’s top destinations like Sierra Vista, Ramsey Canyon, Bisbee and Tombstone. The post ride festivals will feature live music, great food and local craft beer/win gardens. The host site will be Sierra Vista’s Veterans Memorial Park.
“What the event does is leverage the great cycling community we have down here,” said Tony Boone, economic development manager for the City of Sierra Vista. “There is a significant appetite for a local cycling event.”
Boone said the three-day event “is a key component” to helping Sierra Vista’s sports tourism thrive.
“It’ll help leverage the phenomenal climate and the sports fields, indoor space and beautiful outdoor sports including hiking and biking, especially as we come out of the pandemic,” Boone said. “All are important.”