After COVID forced the cancellation of the Green Mountain Stage Race in 2020, the race is making a return to the Mad River Valley for the 20th this year. This four-day road bicycle stage race brings 600-800 top professional and amateur cyclists to the Mad River Valley to compete at the largest stage race east of the Mississippi. The race takes place over four days and attracts racers, 95% of whom live outside Vermont, to stay in the area for four nights over Labor Day weekend.
As a result of the most recent outbreaks of COVID, organizers have eliminated all indoor components of the event. Registration packet pick up will be drive-up this year and will take place at Mt. Ellen on Thursday evening and Friday morning.
“We are continuing to communicate with state officials regarding new COVID guidance and will take additional steps including masking and distancing to protect the safety of residents and racers. It is clear that COVID is not just going to completely disappear. For racers and volunteers holding the GMSR is a positive step to returning to some level of normalcy,” said race director Gary Kessler.
According to Kessler early registration is going well. “It is gratifying to see so many racers registering early for this year’s GMSR especially after having essentially no bicycle racing last year because of COVID,” Kessler said. U.S.-based racers from as far away as Alaska, Texas and California are already registered to compete in this year’s event. Women’s pro category winner, Emma White, recently won a bronze medal on the track at the Olympics in Tokyo, and we are excited to welcome her back as well as a number of other young rising stars.
The race starts on Friday, September 3, with the Stage 1 time trial. This stage starts in Warren Village and will travel up the East Warren Road to the junction of the Common Road in Waitsfield. Racers will start at 30-second intervals and race against the clock hoping to post the fastest time. The Stage 2 Circuit Race set for September 4 is being contested on a course that will start in Randolph and race on Route 12A and Route 12. Each lap is 37 miles and racers will compete over one, two or three laps. The Mad River Road Race will take place on Sunday, September 5, starting at Mt. Ellen. This course includes two “hors category” (above category) climbs including up the Middlebury Gap with the finish at the summit of the App Gap. The Burlington Criterium will take place on Monday, September 6, on the 1-kilometer course in downtown Burlington.
The GMSR hosts a fun kids’ event on Monday during the criterium stage. The race closes downtown streets and at 12:25 we have two events for kids 7-9 and 10-12. They have the opportunity to race on Main Street and Church Street in front a large and appreciative crowd. The event is free! All kids need are a bike and helmet and there is a fun raffle after they finish. Register kids at https://www.bikereg.com/the-green-mountain-stage-race0.
The GMSR needs volunteers for this year’s event. Help is needed for many duties. Those who have time to volunteer can call 496-5415 or write