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On Friday, August 30, hundreds of bicyclists clad in spandex and streamlined helmets will descend on The Valley and ascend its many hills as part of the four-day Green Mountain Stage Race.
About 500 riders have registered for the race so far, but “people are procrastinating,” race organizer Gary Kessler said, and he expects about 700 riders the weekend of the race.
New this year is an extra 35-mile loop off the Huntington side of the Appalachian Gap for the men’s pro 1 and 2 categories during the Sunday’s race. “It’s an extra 35 miles of fun,” Kessler said of the requested add-on to an already grueling course, which finishes at the top of the App Gap. “[Riders] will have ridden a little over 100 miles before they get to the finish,” Kessler said.
That Sunday, September 1, the westbound lane of Route 17 on the upper portion of the Appalachian Gap will be closed to traffic. “That’s the only official road closure all weekend,” Kessler said, although drivers can expect “some delays” during other races.
In the past, the Green Mountain Stage Race course followed Route 100 south to the Granville Gulch. The race was rerouted a few years ago because “it was just unrideable,” Kessler said, but after this summer’s construction crews, “the pavement is really good.” Racers won’t be riding on it yet, but “I really hope for next year we’ll be able to return,” Kessler said.
On Friday, riders will compete in the Warren Store Time Trial, a 5.7-mile course from Warren Village up Brook Road and along East Warren Road to Common Road. On Saturday, riders will compete in the Bridges Circuit Race, a 19.9-mile course along Route 100 through Duxbury and Route 100B through Moretown. On Sunday, riders will compete in the 70-mile (or 100-plus mile) course along Route 2 to Richmond, Route 116 to Starksboro and Route 17 to the top of the App Gap. Monday is the Dealer.com Queen City Criterium in Burlington.