The 2011 Green Mountain Stage Race returns to the Mad River Valley September 2 through 5; there are two weeks left to register for the largest pro/am stage race in eastern North America. Racers from around the U.S. and Canada will compete in the four-stage event.
Race coordinator Gary Kessler said that there are still a lot of “unknowns” concerning stage routes due to the condition of roads in The Valley. The paving of Sugarbush Access Road could result in the road’s closure, which would affect the third stage of the race. In addition, the town plans to reclaim and chip seal a section of the East Warren Road that could potentially affect the first stage.
“Theoretically they won’t chip seal prior to the race, and the reclamation has not been done yet,” he said.
“I applaud the road work that is getting done; that’s the major problem here that the roads in The Valley aren’t in good condition,” Kessler continued.
This year GMSR is partnering with several local riders and cancer survivors in support of the LiveStrong Foundation. Racers who donate will receive special support services during the race provided by LiveStrong. One hundred percent of all funds raised go to fight cancer.
Stage one begins on Flat Iron Road in Warren Village where racers will turn onto Brook Road and cover 5.7 miles to finish at the intersection of East Warren Road and Common Road.
Stage two starts at Harwood Union High School; racers will complete a rolling circuit with a gradual two-mile climb and a net elevation gain of 700 feet per lap. Riders start at base of the climb and then descend towards Waterbury (there is brand new pavement on that section of Route 100). Riders then roll along the flats of the Winooski River valley toward Middlesex. The course travels over an iron bridge and up a short hill into Middlesex and then turns right onto Route 100B.
The course follows the Mad River heading east and passes the Ward access/finish line. The course then passes through Moretown Village and then turns right onto Route 100 up the climb and past the start where the feed zone, fueling racers, is located.
As it stands now, stage three, the Mad River road race, starts at the intersection of Route 100 and the Sugarbush Access Road; racers will travel south on Route 100, turn right onto Route 125 to climb the Middlebury Gap into East Middlebury, turn right onto Route 116, back to Route 17 to climb and finish at the top of the App Gap.
The route is subject to change depending upon the status of the Sugarbush Access Road paving project. For more information or to register, visit www.gmsr.info.