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Giving Back to Our Vermont Communities  |   Vermont Challenge Fondo  |   The Buzz
2015 Vermont Challenge Outline  |   Meals & Festivals  |   Pricing and What's Included
2015 Vermont Challenge Daily Schedule
Welcome to the Vermont Challenge,
Challenge Gran, Medio & Piccolo Fondo plus the "Ride Up" Bike Festival


The 4th annual Vermont Challenge, August 13-16 is a challenging bicycle tour that traverses Southern Vermont over 2, 3 or 4 days including the signature Saturday 8/15 Gran, Medio & Piccolo Fondo plus the "Ride Up" Bike Festival for all riders, presented by our title sponsor Stratton Mountain Resort!

For our 4th year we've created something very unique & exciting!

• On Saturday (8/15) the highlight of our ride that day will be winding up a four-mile climb to Stratton Mountain Resort for the only mountain resort-top Gran Fondo finish east of the Continental Divide.

• In addition to the 100 mile Gran Fondo, the Vermont Challenge will offer: Medio (65 miles) and Piccolo (26 miles) Fondos so the entire family & other club members can join in the fun!

• We'll be creating a "Ride Up" Bike Festival in conjunction with our title Sponsor Stratton Mountain on Saturday 8/15 at Stratton's village!

• The Ride Up Bike Festival is designed to show you how to take your riding to the next level with exhibitors focusing on: training advice & equipment, nutrition, hydration and more

• Manchester and Stratton become our home bases for all four days so you can stay in the same hotel for the duration of the tour.

• We're offering shorter tamer routes each day in addition to our tough challenging routes so your friends, significant others and club members can join in all the fun!

• Friday Rides begin and end at the Vermont Country Store for a great BBQ! All riders can enjoy both Vermont's Premier Country Store and the BBQ as all rides end at their Store in Weston.

• You'll have access to your cars for the multitude of activities you can enjoy on your own each afternoon.
A Message from Megan Smith
Commissioner, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM)
We, the people of Vermont, welcome you to our beautiful state. Come ride The Vermont Challenge and enjoy our open vistas, rolling farmlands and our Green Mountains. Come savor our cuisine and our friendly people that are here to make sure your ride through our state is a memorable one. We know that once you bicycle on our open and quiet roads you'll be back year after year. Welcome to Vermont and The Vermont Challenge!
A Message from the Founder – John Sohikian
The Vermont Challenge combines both our love of bicycling and Vermont to bring you the very best of both experiences. Vermont offers some of the best bicycling routes America has to offer. The routes that you'll travel include some of our favorite roads. We, the team at The Vermont Challenge, welcome you to experience Vermont on two wheels with us. Savor our fine cuisine, smell the wildflowers and green grass and laugh with the warm and friendly people. 86% of the riders surveyed in 2014 stated they'll be back for the 2015 edition, so why not join them!

We encourage you to consider raising funds for the communities. Fund raising is definitely not required to ride with us, but we hope you consider raising a few hundred dollars for the people of Vermont and receive premium gifts as thanks for your effort.

So why not make the Vermont Challenge an annual tradition and it will become one of the highlights for your summer riding season for years to come!
Giving Back to our Vermont Communities
While we don't require fundraising, we encourage all riders to make a donation to our partner – the Stratton Foundation. We take $25 of your registration fee plus any extra donations you make to support worthwhile community projects and local Vermont food banks. We draw upon the energy of local businesses and people of Vermont, key ski resorts, restaurants and farms in each local community that we visit which has an important economic impact on the communities.
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Stratton Mountain Presents The Vermont Challenge Gran, Medio & Piccolo Fondo plus the Ride Up Bike Festival on Saturday 8/15
We've teamed up with the team at Stratton Mountain resort to offer our riders something very special and unique! On Saturday (8/15) the highlight of our ride that day will be winding up a four-mile climb to Stratton Mountain Resort for the only mountain-resort Gran Fondo finish east of the Continental Divide. In addition to the 100 mile Gran Fondo, the Vermont Challenge will offer both the Medio (68 miles) and Piccolo (26 miles) Fondos so the entire family can enjoy the ride and weekend festivities.

Saturday's Ride Up Bike Festival at Stratton will include live music, craft brews, bicycle test rides, clinics, bike fitting, training, nutrition & hydration advice plus yoga & massage all designed to help you "Ride Up" and take your riding to the next level.

Saturday and Sunday events (8/15 and 8/16) at Stratton will include live music, craft brews, Vermont fare and farmer's market, contests and entertainment for the kids and, of course, bicycle test rides, clinics, training and nutrition.

John Sohikian, founder of the Vermont Challenge, is excited to team with Stratton Mountain Resort to offer a Gran Fondo in the true tradition of European Gran Tours. "We looked at how we could create something unique for our riders, and a mountain resort finish really offers something they can't find anywhere else in the Eastern U.S." stated Sohikian.

"Stratton has been a proud partner of The Vermont Challenge since the beginning," said President and COO Sky Foulkes. "The organization is first rate and the routes are scenic and challenging, rewarding the rider in so many ways. This year's Challenge will truly showcase the Stratton and southern Vermont summer experience and we look forward to hosting participants and their families."
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The Buzz
Here's what riders are saying about the 2014 edition of 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, PA

"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

Other comments from our riders

"Beautiful scenery, relatively quiet roads, friendly and accommodating volunteers and a great swag bag!"

"Totally awesome... I have done dozens of rides and this ranks among the best."

"Don't change a thing! I liked everything about the VTC. It compared favorably with the Gran Fondo New York and the Harpoon B2B, which I've ridden."

"I believe the atmosphere was one of the best aspects of the Vermont Challenge, people were very friendly and all smiles."

"Vermont is beautiful... that was the best aspect of the tour and some of the people I meet on the tour. All in all a very nice group of people."

"I liked the size (number of riders), the duration (4 days), the location (VT), the challenge and the distances each day."

"Gorgeous routes, beautiful scenery, options for snacks/drinks/bathrooms along the way, bags waiting at next destination, comfy places to sleep with nice restaurant options."
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2015 Vermont Challenge Outline

When: The Vermont Challenge: August 12-16, 2015

Challenge Options:
• The 4-day Grand Challenge: 8/13-16
• The 3-day Challenge: Any three day combination between 8/13-16
• The 2-day Challenge: Any two day combination between 8/13-16
• The 1-day Gran, Medio and Piccolo Fondo: 8/15
• ALL MULTI-DAY OPTIONS ALSO INCLUDE THE SATURDAY FONDO RIDES

Route Overview by Day
• Thursday 8/13: Southern routes out of Manchester – 65, 45 or 30 miles
• Friday 8/14: Routes to/from the Vermont Country Store plus BBQ! – 53, 35 or 25 miles
• Saturday 8/15: Gran, Medio & Piccolo – 97, 68 or 26 miles respectively all departing and ending
   at Stratton Mountain or Bondville. Two Strava timed segments: KOM & Sprint
• Sunday 8/16: Northern routes out of Manchester – 58, 40 or 24 miles
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Meals & Festivals

All Tours:
Fully Stocked Rest Stops will be offering food and nourishment at roughly 20 - 25 mile intervals. All breakfasts provided by sponsored lodging.

Grand Challenge
• Kick-off dinner
• Lunches each day
• Group dinner

3-day Challenge
• Lunches each day
• Group dinner

2-day Challenge
• Lunches each day

Gran, Medio & Piccolo Fondo
• Dinner the night before at Stratton
• Breakfast
• Lunch & Festival at Stratton Base area
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Pricing and What's Included

What's included in your ride package
• Vermont Challenge Jersey – one of the finest soft tech fabrics available
• Vermont Challenge Tech T-shirt
• VTC Water Bottle
• Fully stocked Goodie Bag: "The Vermont Challenge Goodie bag blows away all other rides I've ridden by far"
• All meals associated with the tour you selected
• Fully-supported rest stops
• Sag support
• Bike tech support each morning
• $25 of your registration fee is a tax-deductible contribution to the Stratton Foundation's Vermont Challenge Community fund that supports the towns we ride through.

Pricing
The 4-day Grand Challenge
    • $449 after 6/12
    • $489 after 7/31
    • Voted by last year's riders as the best experience and value
    • Includes the one Day Gran Fondo Saturday

The 3-day Challenge
3-day tour: any 3-days from 8/13-16
    • $339 after 6/12
    • $369 after 7/31
    • Includes the one Day Gran Fondo Saturday

The 2-day Challenge
2-day tour: any 2-days from 8/13-16
    • $229 after 6/12
    • $259 after 7/31
    • Includes the one Day Gran Fondo Saturday


The Gran, Medio & Piccolo Fondo Challenge
    • $169 after 6/12
    • $189 after 7/31
    • Route options: 101, 65/62 and 26 miles

Remember all pricing includes the 2015 Vermont Challenge Jersey if you register before June 13th.

Please note: Ride registration excludes 6% Vermont sales tax & Bike Reg service fees which will be added to your total at time of check out.
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2015 Vermont Challenge Daily Schedule

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
  • 4:00-8:00pm: Rider Check-in: Manchester Country Club, 229 Beech St, Manchester Center, VT
  • 5:00-8:00pm: Welcome Dinner for all 4-day riders: Manchester Country Club, 229 Beech St, Manchester Center VT

Thursday, August 13, 2015
  • 6:30-8:00am: Rider Tech Support – Dana Thompson Park, 340 Recreation Park Road in Manchester
     Note: Free Parking at Dana Thompson Park – follow signs
     7:00-8:00am: Rider Check at the Pool House building
  • 8:00am: Riders depart from Dana Thompson Park for a parade through town and Day 1 routes
  • Rest stop 1 – 9:00-10:30am: Chapel on the Green, The Green, off Route 313, West Arlington
  • Rest Stop 2 – 10:00am-12:00pm: West Pawlet FD 2806 VT Route 153, West Pawlet
  • Rest Stop Short Route – 8:30-9:30am: Village Peddler, 261 Old Mill Rd, East Arlington
  • Lunch – 11:00am-2:00pm: – Farm to Table lunch, catered by Sherrie's Café,
     Dana Thompson Park, 340 Recreation Park Road in Manchester
  • Evening: Riders are on their own for shopping, dinner & more.
     The following restaurants are offering specials and discounts – just show them your wristband:
     — Gringo Jack's – 15% of guest check
     — Manchester Farmers Market – $2 coupon to use at the Market and K&S Ruane – a bag of candy or
         a 40ml glass leaf for spending $10 or more on any maple products
     — Garlic John's – 15% of guest check
     — Depot 62 – 15% of guest check
     — Manchester Designer Outlets – coupon book flyer in goodie bags
     — Reluctant Panther – complimentary dessert & 10% overnight room rates

Friday, August 14, 2015
  • 6:30-8:00am: Rider Check-in & Start Location: Vermont Country Store, 657 Main St, Weston
  • 6:30-8:00am: Rider Tech Support
     Note: Parking in three locations: Back lot of the Vermont Country Store, around the village green and
      the field at the corner of Route 100 1/8 of a mile north of the Vermont Country Store and Andover Road.
  • 8:00am: Riders depart for Day 2 routes
  • Rest Stop 1 – 8:30-10:00am: East Wallingford Baptist Church 6132 VT-140, East Wallingford
  • Rest Stop 2 – 9:30-11:30am: Crowley Cheese, 14 Crowley Lane, Mount Holly
  • Rest Stop Short Routes only – 8:30-10:00am: Londonderry Farmers Market – on the Green, 2242 N Main, Londonderry
  • Lunch – 11:00am-2:00pm: Pig Roast, BBQ including vegan fare Vermont Country Store
  • Rider Check-in – 4:00-8:00pm: Stratton Mountain, Black Bear Lodge 61 Middle Ridge Rd, Stratton
  • Dinner & Bike Festival – 5:00-8:00pm: BBQ dinner and carb loading, Stratton Mountain
     behind Black Bear Lodge, 61 Middle Ridge Rd, Stratton Mountain. Follow signs!!

Saturday, August 15, 2015
  • 6:30-8:30am: Rider Check-in: Black Bear Lodge, Stratton Mountain Resort, 61 Middle Ridge Rd
  • 6:30-8:30am: Rider Tech Support by Welcome Center
     Note: Start Location: Stratton Mountain Welcome Center, 5 Village Lodge Road, Stratton
     Parking at Lot 1 – Follow signs
  • Gran Fondo Riders depart 7:30am: Stratton Mountain
  • Medio Fondo Riders depart 8:30am: Stratton Mountain or Bondville at bottom of Stratton Access Road
  • Piccolo Fondo Riders depart 9:15am: Bondville at bottom of Stratton Access Road
     Note: Parking in Bondville: 3 locations: (1) Bondville Town Hall, 115 VT Route 30;
     (2) Bondville, Old Bondville Town Hall, River Road, Bondville; (3) Mountain School, School Road, Bondville
  • Rest Stop 1 – 8:00-9:00am: Lodge at Bromley, 4216 VT Route 11, Peru, VT
  • Rest Stop 2 – 9:00-10:30am: Vermont Country Store 657 Main Street, Weston
  • Rest Stop 3 – 9:30-11:00am: Okemo Valley Chamber, 57 Pond Street, Ludlow
  • Rest Stop 4 – 10:00-1:30pm: Grafton Cheese at Grafton Ponds, 783 Townshend Rd, Grafton
  • Rest Stop 5 – 11:30-3:00pm: Grace Cottage Hospital, 185 Grafton Rd, Townshend
  • Rest Stop – 9:00-12:00 am (Medio Route only): Baba Louis Bakery, 92 VT Route 11, Chester
  • Rest Stop Short Routes only – 8:30-10 am: Londonderry Farmers Market – on the Green, 2242 N. Main, Londonderry.      These riders will be given $5 to purchase items at the Farmer's Market.
  • Lunch & Bike Festival – 11:00am-4:00pm: BBQ – Stratton Mountain Resort behind Black Bear Lodge 61,
     Middle Ridge Road, Stratton Mountain. Follow signs!!

Sunday, August 16
  • 6:30-8:00am: Rider Tech Support – Dana Thompson Park, 340 Recreation Park Road, Manchester
     Note: Free Parking at Dana Thompson Park – Follow signs
  • 8:00am: Riders depart for Day 4 routes
  • Rest Stop 1 – 8:30-10:00am: Pawlet Fire Department, 155 VT Route 133, Pawlet
  • Rest Stop 2 – 10:00-11:30am: Silas Griffith Inn, 178 S. Main Street, Danby
  • 11:00am-2:00pm: Farm to Table lunch, catered by Sherrie's Café,
     Dana Thompson Park, 340 Recreation Park Road, Manchester
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