Hundreds of cyclists compete in Albuquerque despite smoke

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The USA Cycling Masters Road National Competition biked into Albuquerque while the city had some of the worst air quality in the country.

“It is something that we are concerned about and are here for that reason,” said Mateo Garcia, an emergency medical doctor.

Over 600 riders from 36 states came to Albuquerque this weekend to compete in the USA Cycling Masters Championship, but the view from the track was very different just the other day.

On Sunday, the EPA said the air quality topped out at 174, right in the middle of the unhealthy range.

“Around 300 we and the EPA would recommend that they consider whether the benefits of doing the event is worth the risk associated with being outside,” said Garcia.

Even though the sky was hazy, and the Sandia mountains were out of sight, the cyclists peddled forward, giving their all to the race.

“I was huffing and puffing the whole time regardless of the air quality, I was just happy to have air,” said Kathy Alvarez, cyclist.