Nov 23, 2013 8:08 PM by Erika Flores

El Tour de Tucson cyclists took rain in stride

TUCSON-El Tour de Tucson cyclists braved the rain and floods Saturday.

A few were even treated for hypothermia.

Flooding forced hundreds of riders to find an alternative route.

Cold and wet is how cyclists finished the race, but many cyclists said it was worth the ride.

There was flowing water at Sabino Creek a few inches deep as cyclists crossed.

"My toes are numb," said one cyclist as she raced on.

"Little cold, but I'm optimistic that it's getting better," said another.

There was constant rain during the race.

"You can't see. Your glasses get all fogged up," said a cyclist.

But these cyclists took it all in stride.

"The water crossing is part of the deal. Whether there is actually water or not it seems like something the organizers wanted, so it adds a little element of surprise. A little uncertainty," said Cyclist Trevor from Santa Barbara

One cyclist found humor in the situation wearing snorkeling gear to the start line.

Organizers said they made cyclists' safety a priority.

They had spotters at creeks and washes watching out for flowing water and debris.

"I can only remember one instance where we had a little bit of rain. We've never had this amount of consistent rain in 31 years, so this has certainly been the biggest challenge we've ever had," said Kevin Sherlock, vice president of Perimeter Bicycling Association of America Inc.

Cyclists had bumps in the road.

"I fell and so the grid is cutting into my hand," said a cyclist.

Spectators stood in the rain cheering on their teams.

The crowd at the finish line was a little sparse compared to previous years, but that didn't take away from cyclists' satisfaction of crossing the finish line.

Juan Magallanes was the first place male to cross the finish line.

His time: 4:13:54

He was shaking from the cold and wet from the rain, but he said it was a good ride.


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