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Vermont Challenge Tours:

Our roads are calling.

Vermont’s Top Rated 4-Day Tour
August 15 - 18, 2019

The Tours of the Vermont Challenge are now professionally led scenic rides at a fraction of package tours. This year's tour is limited to 100 riders so don't delay and register today. You'll still experience four glorious days of riding through some of the most picturesque countryside, covered bridges, river valleys and historic villages in the world. Be sure to see what's new for 2019.

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What’s New For 2019
Important changes for this year's tour are a must read.
The Vermont Challenge is making a major change in its focus and throttling back from a self-paced cycling event to a more controlled tour-like model. Our philosophy has always been to focus on scenic Vermont and its local flavor. We felt this could be best achieved by keeping groups organized together under the leadership of professional ride leaders.

To make this a rewarding and intimate experience, we're limiting the field to 100 riders. That equates to roughly 15-25 riders per ride leader. This will give us a better opportunity to concentrate our efforts on the riders touring experience.
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The Tours of the Vermont Challenge
The new structure will have a bit of the old along with the new. It will be a 4-day tour and no longer offer 1 to 3 day options for riding. Each day will offer 3 routes of varying distances: short, medium and long. Each route will have 2 ride leaders who will take groups out at different paces.
The slower paced ride level helps the recreational cyclist ride at a comfortable speed while being able to stay within the group. The slightly faster paced ride level serves riders who can lift their speed a bit while still being able to enjoy the tour. Our goal is to keep riders together in their respective groups providing an opportunity to bond over the four days.
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Routes Revisited
We are revising all of our routes to create new experiences for you to enjoy. There will no longer be volunteer-hosted food stops. We will now be patronizing local markets and general stores for our refueling stops to take advantage of Vermont's local businesses.
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Destination Points
One of the reasons why the self-paced aspect of the Vermont Challenge was changed to a ride leader format is so that riders will have an opportunity to share their touring experience together. We are selecting special local businesses where we stop and sample food or tour a location. This is the advantage of taking riders out in groups. Cyclists can meet and ride with the same people and get to know one another through riding, eating and touring.
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Meals
We'll be once again offering four sumptous farm-to-table lunches at the end of each day's tour. We will also be offering a kick-off dinner on Wednesday evening after check-in, as well as on Friday. On Thursday and Saturday you are free to explore the area for dining venues.
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Learn More
There are a lot more details about The Tours of the Vermont Challenge throughout the website. Feel free to explore what else is included in this 4-day package.


Cycling at Country Store on the Vermont Challenge.


What the Press is Saying
Take some time to read what they are saying. Just click on the magazine covers or links below.

Stratton MagazineAdventure Cyclists Magazine

Vermont SKI+RIDE, Vermont's Mountain Sports & Life named the Vermont Challenge one of its "8 Rides of Your Life." Read about it here:


VT SKI+RIDE Logo
VT SKI+RIDE Menu
VT SKI+RIDE Photo
VT SKI+RIDE Headline

The way up and the way down are not, just not, one and the same.

That's all I can think as I push/pull/cajole the wheels into one more rotation, then another. I stand, putting my full weight on the pedals. Think positive, I coach myself. I'm grateful .. grunt.. for the cool green tunnel of hardwoods shading the road. Grateful ..groan..for the packet of maple syrup from the last aid station, liquid energy. I'm grateful for the six guys who let me draft for the last 10 miles. Grateful for the swimming hole ahead that's going to be deliciously cool.

Then, the trees open up. There is light. The road crests at the gap. Below, a toy landscape of farms with red barns spreads out. Patches of green fields are dotted with miniature black and white cows. A white spire rises through trees in the distance. I pause to take a swig of water, shift into my largest gear and then let go, screaming down the other side, taking the S turns like a ski racer on a GS course.

By far the best way to see Vermont, I'm convinced, is on a century ride or organized group ride. In the past few years, a host of new rides have sprung up with events such as the Vermont Challenge, Farm to Fork Fondo, and the Vermont Gran Fondo, making the national Top 10 lists. Others, like the Tour De Kingdom, are lesser-known gems that will show you roads you never knew existed.

Yes, you pay an entry fee but you get a sag wagon, in case you have a mechanical issue. And then there are the aid stations. Since this is Vermont, instead of GU and Budweiser, there might be PB&J sandwiches on slabs of homemade bread (Vermont Challenge) or woodfired pizza with farm-fresh toppings (Farm to Fork Fondo). After parties? In Vermont, you don't bring the beer to the party, you take the party to the beer. Three rides start and finish at Harpoon Brewery, Long Trail Brewery and Woodchuck Hard Cider this year.

There is an organized ride somewhere in the state nearly every week, here is one of our favorite loops, in August.

VT SKI+RIDE Headline
Heading out from Stratton on Day 3 of the Vermont Challenge. Photo by Hubert Schriebl

The Vermont Challenge: Stratton to Okemo and back, Aug. 17-20

If you took the best aspects of a multi-day guided bike tour (sag wagons, lunch stops, dinners sharing stories of the day over a craft brew) and combined it with four days of the semi-competitive (read: bragging rights only) fun of a century ride, you'd get the Vermont Challenge.

Stratton skier John Sohikian dreamed up the Vermont Challenge as way to showcase some of the best riding routes in southern Vemont. The four-day event heads along the valley between Manchester to Dorset, before climbing into the mountains around Stratton and sending riders on a 107-mile fondo toward Okemo.

Of course, you don't have to do all four days of rides. You can sign up for shorter routes each day (starting at 23 miles). You can stop where you want (last year's favorite rest stop was at Wilcox Dairy, which makes a killer salted caramel ice cream). You can join in the group kickoff dinners at the Taconic Hotel in Manchester or eat on your own. You can do just the Valley Days (Day 1-2) or just the Mountain Days (Day 3-4). In 2016, the fifth running of the Challenge the ride raised $9,200 for local charities and $10,000 the year before. vtchallenge.com



Our roads are calling.

Three beautiful routes each day over four days of riding.

The Tours of the Vermont Challenge are offering three routes each day. And each day's routes are different than the last. There will be two groups for each route all led by seasoned ride leaders providing you with information about the area and stopping along the way for snacks at local markets and country stores. Be sure to explore the website to see what's new for 2019.

Learn More   Tour Info





What Cyclists Are Saying
Here's what riders have said about the Vermont Challenge:

"Just a well-run event, great volunteers, well stocked rest stops, real food at the end, nice countryside, and good ride support. Nice job – the effort you put into it shows."    – HAVERFORD, CT
"The routes were gorgeous, covering some of the most beautiful territory of the great state of Vermont. The food stops were fully stocked with smiling and friendly volunteers who encouraged and cheered us on. The volunteers were moved from one location to the next so we often got to see the same faces multiple times, which was fun! The meals, cookouts, etc. were also impeccably planned. It was obvious how much upfront work goes into the event – as well as during and after. It seemed like they had four times the volunteers they actually did!"    – STAMFORD, CT
"This was the best tour I have ever ridden. Food, routes, people. The volunteers were great"    – FOXBORO, MA
"The CHALLENGE was the best part! I had butterflies in my stomach until I got to the top of Brandon Pass, worrying I'd bonk – but WHAT a feeling of accomplishment! There was impeccable logistical organization and a terrific choice of roads. It was really an outstanding event from start to finish. Kudos to all who organized and volunteered!"    – COBOURG, ON, CANADA
"The Vermont Challenge has one overwhelming advantage: It offers a beautiful countryside on quiet roads."    – HARTSDALE, NY
"A GREAT event! A good time was had by all... Looking forward to next year. KUDOS to everyone who worked hard to make this such an enjoyable event!"    – NEW BRITAIN, CT
"Thanks so much for the VT Challenge – truly an awesome event for an important cause. I must say this was one of the BEST organized and professionally produced events I have ever been involved with. I have been cycling at a high level for a long time and you hit it out of the park to say the least. I very much look forward to next year's VT Challenge and I will be sure to pull in additional riders."    – TINTON FALLS, NJ


Sharing a Meal the Vermont Challenge.


4 Days of Awesome Group-Led Rides

The Vermont Challenge is offering four days of riding through the picturesque countryside of Vermont. The following is the listing of rides for The Vermont Challenge from August 15–18, 2019.

Valley Stages 8/15 & 8/16:
Both days out of Dana Thompson Park, 340 Recreation Park Rd, Manchester Center, VT

Mountain & Valley Stages 8/17 & 8/18:
Saturday, long route out of Stratton Mountain Resort, 5 Village Lodge Rd, Stratton Mountain, VT. All other Saturday routes out of Bondville Community Center, River Road & Route 30, Bondville VT.
Sunday route out of Battenkill Bikes, Route 30, 99 Bonnet St, Manchester Center, VT

All stages start and finish at their respective locations for that day.

Detailed routes will sent to all registered riders in the Spring

2019 Tour Pricing

$549 through 1/31/2018
$599 from 2/1/2019
Includes:
4 Bike Tours (Wed through Sun)
2 Dinners (Wed and Fri)
1 Free Beer at each Dinner (Wed and Fri)
4 Farm to Table Lunches (Wed through Sun)
Full Vermont Challenge Tour Cycling Kit
Vermont Challenge Tech T-Shirt
Vermont Challenge Water Bottle
Vermont Challenge Goodie Bag
Tech Support during Rides

15
Aug
Vermont Challenge Tour Riders
MANCHESTER, VT
2019
DANA THOMPSON PARK
PICTURESQUE SOUTHERN VALLEYS AND HISTORIC VILLAGES
DAY 1: VALLEY TOUR
THURSDAY, AUGUST 15
START TIME: 8:30 AM
Bucolic is the best description for these routes that head south and west from Manchester Center. You'll to be cycling across famed covered bridges and through rural villages like Pawlet and Rupert both situated in the valleys between the Green and Taconic Mountains.
There is certainly no shortage of mountain, farm and river valley views as you ride along these beautiful Vermont roads. Today's ride features a stop at Wilcox Ice Cream! The groups will have a Farm to Table Lunch at Dana Thompson Park at the end of today's tours.
Long Route - 70.0 miles
2,753 ft. ascent
Medium Route - 39.9 miles
1,937 ft. ascent
Short Route - 28.9 miles
1,541 ft. ascent
Tour Event Number
16
Aug
Vermont Challenge Tour Riders
MANCHESTER, VT
2019
DANA THOMPSON PARK
PICTURESQUE NORTHERN VALLEYS AND HISTORIC VILLAGES
DAY 2: VALLEY TOUR
FRIDAY, AUGUST 16
START TIME: 8:30 AM
Our second day of the Vermont Challenge heads north and east and features more beautiful terrain through gentle rises and sloping valley areas, where farms and fields of corn are not an unusual sight.
The picturesque town of Middletown Springs is the most northern point on the longest route and defined by the encircling mountains. Your Ride Leaders will take you to the location where Victorians bathed in the supposed healing waters of Middletown Spring. You'll also enjoy a snack stop at Sissy's Bakery: a stop not to be missed! Before heading back, you'll pass through the Mt. Tabor-Danby area, former milling towns now devoted more to farming. The groups will have a Farm to Table Lunch at Dana Thompson Park at the end of today's tours.
Long Route - 58.5 miles
3,052 ft. ascent
Medium Route - 40.8 miles
2,114 ft. ascent
Short Route - 28.1 miles
951 ft. ascent
Tour Event Number
17
Aug
Vermont Challenge Tour Riders
STRATTON MOUNTAIN
2019
SKI RESORT START/FINISH
DAY 3:
MOUNTAIN & VALLEY TOUR
SATURDAY, AUGUST 17
START TIME: 8:30 AM
Our third offers the challenges begins at the base of Stratton Mountain resort at 2100 ft. Stratton Mountain is the highest peak of the Southern Greens. We follow the river valleys to start and then cross the Green Mountain's through mountain passes. These passes offer gradual sustained climbs, so you can get into your own rhythm.
We will stop at a Farmer's Market in Londonderry and offer you the opportunity to shop and have your items brought back to you at Lunch. We'll also stop at the Vermont Country Store for a maple creamy. All tours will offer you the opportunity to finish by climbing up the 4-mile access road to the finish and a BBQ lunch at the green behind Stratton's base lodge.
Medio Fondo - 72.9/65.7 miles
5,933/4,584 ft. ascent
Start/return atop Stratton or at the base.
Gran Piccolo Fondo - 46.8 miles
3,606 ft. ascent
Piccolo Fondo - 27.4 miles
2,010 ft. ascent
Tour Event Number
18
Aug
Vermont Challenge Tour Riders
MANCHESTER
CENTER, VT
2019
BATTENKILL BIKE SHOP
DAY 4:
MOUNTAIN & VALLEY TOUR
SUNDAY, AUGUST 18
START TIME: 8:30 AM
We're be traveling on some familiar roads from a different perspective. Some routes will also climb Rupert Mountain and enjoy a beautifully scenic 6-mile section of hard-packed dirt before crossing Sandgate Notch. Anyone on a road bike can easily handle this section.
We'll stop at both the Dorset Country Store, Sherman Market and the Wayside Market: 3 amazingly quaint country stores. Our lunch will be held in Manchester at the Battenkill Bike Shop.
Long Route - 48.5 miles
3,281 ft. ascent
Medium Route - 41.9 miles
2,362 ft. ascent
Short Route - 28.9 miles
1,475 ft. ascent
Tour Event Number

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Riding the Vermont Challenge.
ABOUT

The Vermont Challenge mission is to provide the ultimate riding experience while striking a balance between the touring rider and the more serious cyclist. Offering a variety of scenic destinations that provide an authentic Vermont experience is our number one goal.

CONTACT
info@vtchallenge.com
460 Stratton Gate Rd
PO Box 203, Jamaica VT 05343


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