On Saturday, Sept. 1, Randolph and Northfield will host Stage 2 of the four-day Green Mountain Stage Race (GMSR).
The GMSR is in its 18th year and is one of the largest professional/ amateur road bicycle stage races in North America, attracting riders from across the U.S. and Canada as well as from Europe, several Caribbean islands, and New Zealand this year.
The race will start at Randolph Union High School at 8:30 Saturday morning and will travel north on Route 12A and south on Route 12. Each lap is 37 miles, with most fields completing two laps of the course. The finish is at Ayers Brook Goat Dairy on Route 12. There is no parking at the finish. A shuttle bus will transport spectators from the start to the finish. Myles Hooper from Ayers Brook will have fresh roasted sweet corn and beverages for spectators to purchase while they watch the racing action.
There will be nine groups of racers: five starting at 8:30 a.m. and four in the afternoon. In total, over 600 racers will be competing this year.
The nine groups include separate races based on age, gender, and racing ability. Each race field will be led by the Vermont State Police and there will be a caravan of vehicles for each race which include race officials, service vehicles, and emergency medical services.
Drivers can avoid most delays by driving north on Route 12 and south on Route 12A, which is against the flow of the race. There will be brief driving delays as each group of racers starts as well as at the finish. No roads will be closed except for brief periods of time when the race is passing through an intersection and at the finish.
The best place to watch the racing action is at the finish at Ayers Brook Goat Dairy. Over 100 racers will sprint for cash and the chance to win the sprint leader’s and overall leader’s jerseys at the end of each race.
Race Director Gary Kessler is excited to bring the event to Randolph this year. Kessler had planned to hold this stage in Randolph last year, but paving on Route 12A interfered.
“We are always looking to hold the event on courses with good pavement. With all the work done on Rt. 12 and 12A over the last few years the pavement is nearly perfect, which makes for fast racing,” Kessler said.
“Bike racing in these large pelotons is very exciting to watch and I hope residents will have the opportunity to see the race even if it is from their front porches.”
The first fields will be finishing at around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The race has two more stages on Sunday and Monday. The final stage is the Burlington Criterium and is run on closed streets, including Main and Church downtown.