Thursday April 11, 2013

ZEKE WRIGHT

Staff Writer

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- America’s toughest race is returning this weekend to Cambridge with more than 3,500 cyclists registered and counting.

The 9th annual Tour of the Battenkill this Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14, has drawn cyclists from 47 states and four Canadian provinces.

As in the past two years, the event is part of the Stan’s Notubes Great American Cycling Series. The schedule for that road series includes 10 stops in 2013, including the return of Vermont’s Tour of the Dragons in Bennington and Manchester on May 4-5.

Battenkill cyclists will tour similar landscapes to previous years with the circuitous route beginning and ending in Cambridge, looping in between through Greenwich and Salem.

Racers will start on Route 313 this year headed north, and finish back on Main Street in the area of St. Luke’s/Pearl Street. Road closures Saturday and Sunday include Main Street between the Union Street intersection and Railroad Ave and the north end of Gilbert Street where it intersects with Main. The rest of Gilbert, Academy, and South Union streets are for local traffic only.

To avoid the downtown, motorists should detour north on North Union, North Park, and Spring streets.

Varak Park will host the weekend’s race expo and awards ceremony.

Anthem Sports organizers announced last November that they would be withdrawing the Tour of the Battenkill from professional calendars under the Union Cycliste Internationale sanctioning body.


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The professional race on Sunday has been replaced by a new open gran fondo event, which will feature an 11:30 a.m. "mass start" on Main Street.

The gran fondo will follow the same 65-mile course as the pro racers previously did. Competitors in various age group categories are given prizes at the end of the event.

Children’s races are also featured Sunday at 10:30 a.m., sponsored by the Cambridge Lions Club, for ages 12 and younger.

For maps, registration, to volunteer, or for more information, visit www.tourofthebattenkill.com.

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