Cyclists Take To Roads For Killington Stage Race

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(Host) More than 600 cyclists will be racing the clock and each other this weekend as part of the Killington Stage Race.   

As VPR’s Nina Keck reports, the event is one of the largest cycling races in the Northeast and a boon for local tourism.

(Keck) The Killington Stage Race began in 1987 and ran annually until 2000 when it was canceled due to lack of money.    

Killington’s office of economic development brought the race back last year and more than 500 cyclists took part.    

More than 600 will be racing this weekend.    Suzie Dundas, who handles marketing for Killington, says because it’s typically a slow time for area businesses, the event is ideally timed.

(Dundas) "For instance we had one restaurant come up to us and say, ‘Hey, that weekend of the stage race last year, I sold more than 400 meals and that’s over 400 more than I’ve ever sold because I’ve never been able to be open before.’"

(Keck) The race starts with a short loop along Routes 4 and 100.   

That’s followed by a time trial and the event wraps up Monday with a 62-mile road race.   

Race Director Gary Kessler says in some of the downhill portions, the cyclists top 50 miles an hour.

(Kessler) "It’s very fun to watch, but it goes by quickly. (laugh) When you’re standing by the side of the road it seems like a blur. It’s just whirring sound, the sound of the wind and the sounds of the wheels and the gears. It’s just a neat sound to hear as it goes by."

(Keck) Biking enthusiasts should mark their calendars.   The Green Mountain Stage Race in the Mad River Valley and Chittenden County will be held over Labor Day weekend.    Next month, you can head to the Adirondacks for The Wilmington-Whiteface 100K race on June 19th.      

For VPR News, I’m Nina Keck.

(Host ) The Killington Stage Race starts Saturday.

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