Alex Hoehn won the 2023 Tour of the Gila by a margin of two seconds over Óscar Sevilla. His victory was a surprise to many, as he was not considered one of the favorites for the race. However, he continued to build on his good form throughout the week that he’d shown all spring, finishing in the top 10 in the last 4 stages.
In the final stage, a 100-kilometer stage from Silver City to Gila Monster, Alex was part of a breakaway group that included Sevilla. In a classic real life example of a childhood dream reenactment, the two riders battled it out on the final climb with Alex able to hold on for second place and the overall victory.
The victory is a testament to his hard work and dedication. The Tour of the Gila is a race he’s wanted to win for some time. This win was the culmination of years of hard work. He has dedicated himself to the sport, to his training and becoming a 24/7 whole athlete. In essence, Alex is an excellent example of what an athlete can become when they focus on the process, become an active participant in your training and trust in the coach. He is a deserving winner and this victory is not a surprise by any means.
Hoehn's victory is a great story for cycling in the United States. He is a young, talented rider who has a history of performing at a high level in the toughest races. He has been successful on 5 continents (North America, Europe, Africa, South America and Asia) and is stubbornly consistent in the most grueling of races.
Here are some of the key moments that helped Alex win the Tour of the Gila:
- Placing third in the Time Trial: This gave Hoehn a boost in confidence and helped him move into second place overall.
- Staying with Sevilla on the final climb: This was a major accomplishment, as Sevilla is a veteran rider and one of the best climbers in the world.
- Finishing second in the final stage: This was enough to hold off Sevilla and win the overall race.
- Stage 3: Time Trial
Hoehn finished third in the time trial, which was won by Óscar Sevilla (Medellín-EPM). This result moved Hoehn into third place overall, just one minute and three seconds behind the leader, Torbjørn Røed (Above & Beyond Cancer Cycling).
- Stage 4: Criterium
Criteriums are always dangerous because if they are executed properly there is no GC movement and the stage acts as a neutral day with no major players ever being drawn out. But if it’s not executed properly it can all go sideways. Alex was one of the favorites for the stage, and he delivered by finishing in third place. This result gave him a boost of confidence heading into the final stage.
- Stage 5: Gila Monster
The final stage was a 138-kilometer climb up the Gila Monster, and it was the perfect stage for Hoehn's strengths. He joined a breakaway early in the stage, and he and Óscar Sevilla (Medellín-EPM) were the only two riders to stay out front until the finish. Sevilla won the stage, but Hoehn was able to hold on for second place, which was enough to secure the overall victory.
Probably the most impressive trait for Alex is that the Gila Monster was the stage where his 20 minute power was the best all week. This Gila absolute best effort was followed by nearly identical numbers throughout the day, a testament to Alex’s durability both on the day and throughout the week.
Hoehn's victory in the Tour of the Gila is a major achievement, and it is a sign that he is one of the top cyclists in the United States. He is a strong climber and a good time trialist, and he has the potential to win even bigger races in the future.