Skip to Content
Vermont Challenge Logo
Mobile Icon Animation
August 16-19, 2018
Vermont Challenge:
Vermont Challenge Cyclists in Manchester Center
NEW ENGLAND’S TOP RATED MULTI-DAY TOUR FOR AMATEUR & ELITE CYCLISTS

The Vermont Challenge 7th Edition offers up to 4 glorious days of riding through some of the most picturesque countryside, covered bridges, river valleys and historic villages in the world. Choose to ride all 4 days for the best experience at a fraction of packaged tour prices.


Learn More   Tour Info


WHAT’S NEW FOR 2018

Gran Fondo and Haute Route Logos
The Vermont Challenge announces its strategic partnership with the Gran Fondo National Series (GFNS). The Vermont Challenge Gran Fondo will now be part of "The Series". The GFNS is an Haute Route partner who is dedicated to creating the world's most prestigious multi-day event series for amateur cycling. Haute Route's partnership with the GFNS underscores its commitment to amateur cycling in the United States and includes cross-marketing opportunities for Haute Route and GFNS, as well as registration benefits for riders who choose to participate in both the Vermont Challenge and the Event Series.

Cyclist Illustration
We are very excited to announce a brand-new 56-mile route on Sunday, August 19th, unlike any other in the USA: a road stage that finishes atop the fabled Mount Equinox. Mount Equinox, at just under 4,000 ft., is highest peak in the Taconic Mountain range and is the longest paved mountain road east of the Mississippi at 5.3 miles, longer than Mount Washington's access road. It has an elevation gain of 3,186 ft. with an average grade of 12%. Cyclists riding any of the other new medium or short routes this day will have the opportunity to add this iconic climb to finish their ride. Riders can also separately opt to complete the Time Trial up Mount Equinox.

Cyclist Illustration
We've extended the Gran Fondo route by adding in another fabled climb in Vermont – "The Alps". In addition to climbing last year's Terrible Mountain, there will be a 10-mile respite before you reach the "The Alps" in Reading that rises to an elevation gain of 852 ft. over 3.8 miles.

Cyclist Illustration
We've added 3 timed segments to our Gran Fondo. You'll receive a sensing chip that will clock your time and immediately provide us with the results so we can award you on our podium.

Cyclist Illustration
All riders who choose to ride for 3 or 4 days will receive the 2018 full cycling kit. In addition to your jersey you will get a pair of shorts or bibs. All other tour riders will receive only the jersey.

Cyclist Illustration
The new 2018 jerseys will be men's and women's specific – no more unisex jersey!

Cyclist Illustration
Any past rider of the Vermont Challenge who recruits a brand new participant for 2018 will receive $40 in Vermont Challenge "bucks" for each new rider they recruit. These bucks can be used towards any merchandise purchase or a credit towards their 2019 registration.



Vermont Challenge Cyclists Out on the Road
A TOUR WITH CHOICES


The Vermont Challenge offers a 4-day event but if you are short on time, choose from our unique 2-day split format: 2-day "Valley" or 2-day "Mountain" Challenges - two amazing experiences for you to choose from. Ride the long routes each day that are designed to challenge and reward any high-end recreational cyclists or choose the medium or shorter routes if you're simply looking to experience the beauty of riding through Vermont's scenic villages and countryside.


Learn More   Tour Info


WHAT THE PRESS IS SAYING
The Vermont Challenge has gotten a lot of attention and articles are being published about the Tour. Take some time to read what they are saying. Just click on the magazine covers or links below.

Stratton MagazineAdventure Cyclists Magazine

PRESS RELEASE: Haute Route Announces Strategic Partnership with Gran Fondo National Series. Click here to read.


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


Vermont Challenge Riders Cycle by Stratton Vermont Challenge Riders Cycle by Stratton
CHALLENGES AWAIT YOU IN VERMONT

Our Gran Fondo offers an unparalleled challenge for the seasoned cyclist. Come challenge yourself by completing the only mountain resort Gran Fondo finish in the eastern U.S. The Vermont Challenge 100-mile Fondo ends at the base of Stratton Mountain, southern Vermont's highest peak, 2100 ft., in the true tradition of Europe's grand tours. Join riders from 32 states, 4 Canadian Provinces and Europe and meet riders just like you.


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



Vermont Challenge Cyclists Climbing Mt. Equinox Vermont Challenge Cyclists Climbing Mt. Equinox
THE CLIMBING OF MOUNT EQUINOX

This 5.3 mile climb with an average gradient of 12% is one of the "legendary" climbs in the United States. Come and add this to your repertoire of rides – a true cycling experience as you race the clock to Mount Equinox's summit on 8/19!


Learn More   Tour Info


2018 TOUR STAGES

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 16–19, 2018.

Valley Stages 8/16 & 8/17:
Both days out of Dana Thompson Park, Manchester

Mountain Stages 8/18 & 8/19:
Saturday, long route out of Stratton Mountain Resort. All other Saturday routes out of Bondville Community Center, River Road & Route 30, Bondville VT.
Sunday, Mountain Stage out of the base of Mount Equinox, Sunderland, VT

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

16
Aug
Tour Test

MANCHESTER, VT
2018

DANA THOMPSON PARK

VALLEY TOUR / DAY 1
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2018
START TIME: ALL ROUTES 8:00 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 Taconic Mountains.

There is certainly no shortage of mountain and valley views as you ride along these beautiful Vermont roads.

Long Route - 70.0 miles
2,753 ft. ascent

Map/Route

Medium Route - 39.9 miles
1,937 ft. ascent

Map/Route

Short Route - 28.9 miles
1,541 ft. ascent

Map/Route


Tour Event Number
17
Aug
Tour Test

MANCHESTER, VT
2018

DANA THOMPSON PARK

VALLEY TOUR / DAY 2
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018
START TIME: ALL ROUTES 8:00 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. Before heading back, you'll pass through the Mt. Tabor-Danby area, former milling towns now devoted more to farming.

Long Route - 57.7 miles
3,006 ft. ascent

Map/Route

Medium Route - 40.1 miles
2,114 ft. ascent

Map/Route

Short Route - 28.1 miles
951 ft. ascent

Map/Route


Tour Event Number
18
Aug
Tour Test

SOUTH LONDONDERRY, VT
2018

STRATTON MOUNTAIN

MOUNTAIN TOUR / DAY 3
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2018
START TIMES VARY: SEE BELOW

Gran Fondo - 108.5 miles
8,925 ft. ascent - Start time 7:00 am
KOM/QOM: 3 Climbs:
Terrible Mtn: 27.7-30.0, 2.3 miles
elevation gain: 732 ft.
Alps: 40.2-44.0, 3.8 miles
elevation gain: 852 ft.
Stratton Access Rd: 104.7-108.5, 3.5 miles
elevation gain: 787 ft.

Map/Route

Medio Fondo - 72.9/65.7 miles
5,933/4,584 ft. ascent- Start time 7:30 am
Start/return atop Stratton or at the base.

Map/Route

Gran Piccolo Fondo - 46.8 miles
3,606 ft. ascent

Map/Route

Piccolo Fondo - 27.4 miles
2,010 ft. ascent

Map/Route


Tour Event Number
19
Aug
Tour Test

SUNDERLAND, VT
2018

SKYLINE DRIVE

MOUNTAIN TOUR / DAY 4
SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2018
START TIME: ALL ROUTES 8:00 AM

Located between the South Shire and the North Shire, Sunderland is the start and finish for final day of riding. Surrounded by mountains and enriched by the waters of the famed Battenkill River that runs through the valley, Sunderland and the surrounding towns offer real New England charm and has historically been a destination for those seeking an authentic Vermont experience on a bike.

*Medium and Short route riders can add the climb up Mount Equinox's 3,186 ft. ascent.

Long Route - 56.0 miles
3,505 ft.+3,186 ft.=6,691 ft. total ascent

Map/Route

Medium Route - 36.6 miles*
2,173 ft. ascent

Map/Route

Short Route - 20.5 miles*
1,102 ft. ascent

Map/Route


Tour Event Number
19
Aug
Tour Test

SUNDERLAND, VT
2018

MOUNT EQUINOX – SUMMIT

UPHILL TIME TRIAL / DAY 4
SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2018
START TIME: ON ARRIVAL

Mount Equinox is the southern-most mountain of the five top 100 bike climbs located in the northeastern part of the United States.

Skyline Drive is a private road open to cyclists only once each year during the Mount Equinox Uphill Bike Climb held in early August. The average overall grade is 12% as Skyline Drive winds and twist its way up the mountain.

Mount Equinox provides panoramic views of lakes, rivers and valley communities below. Views from the top are exceptional and unobstructed but you have to climb it first to see for yourself.

Challenge yourself and ride from within as you race the clock up 3,200 feet to the summit.

There is a $100 fee for cyclists who ONLY ride the time trial and have not registered for any other VTC stage.

Mount Equinox Uphill Time Trial
5.3 miles

3,186 ft. ascent

Map/Route


Tour Event Number


2018 TOUR PRICING

  Start Date 4-day 3-day 2-day 1-day
Early Bird 12/22 $469 $369 $269 $169
Spring 3/1 $499 $399 $299 $179
Last Spring 5/1 $529 $429 $329 $189
Summer 7/1 $549 $449 $349 $199
Final 8/1 $569 $469 $369 $209
Sunday 8/19 Mount Equinox Time Trial:
$100*
*This fee only applies to riders who have not registered for any other VTC stage ride and ONLY riding the 5.3 mile time trial. Please note: Ride registration excludes 6% Vermont sales tax and Bike Reg service fees, which will be added to your total at time of check out.

REGISTER     


Top



Benefactors & Sponsors

The Vermont Challenge will once again be taking a portion of each rider's registration fee and donating putting it toward the Vermont Challenge Community fund, administered by the Stratton Foundation. Riders will also be able to continue to make additional donations. All donations are 100% tax deductible as allowed by the IRS.

The Vermont Challenge offers an amazing selection of prizes including a grand prize of a cycling trip plus airfare compliments of VBT Bicycle and Walking Vacations. Please order as many raffle tickets as you can to support our benefactors. Drawing is held on Sunday, August 19. You don't have to be present to win.

Okemo – Windsor County, VT – Black River Good Neighbors

Stratton – Windham County, VT – Jamaica/Wardsboro Community Food Pantry

Killington – Rutland County, VT – BROC Community Action and Rutland Methodist Church 'Feed the Freezer'

Bondville – Windham County VT – Windhall Stratton Food Shelf

Grace Cottage Hospital – Townsend, VT – Serving the greater West River valley communities

Stratton Mountain Urgent Care/Carlos Otis Clinic – Stratton Mountain, VT – Serving Stratton's communities

Click on any of the logos below to visit their website.




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


Copyright © 2018 The Vermont Challenge LLC. All rights reserved.