Yes the weather has just taken a sharp turn for the colder, we are all still wondering what size turkey to order for Thanksgiving, and the CycloCross season is only halfway done.  That means all (i.e. some) eyes turn to America’s Queen of The Classics, which is set for the weekend of April 13/14 next year.  The Tour of the Battenkill is understandably popular with Cycle Lodgers because it combines that “one-day-classic” feel that we all love, with dirt roads and climbs.  Last year the race weekend clashed with the Myles Standish event in Plymouth, but six folks did race across 5 different categories.

By way of brief introduction, the Tour of the Battenkill takes place around Cambridge NY, not far from Bennington VT.  The terrain is varied with some sharp climbs and the race’s main feature – dirt roads.  The majority of races use a 64mile circuit, with the Pro/1 and the Cat2 fields riding an 82 mile race and a series of shorter 22mile and 14mile loops being used for Juniors. One of the features of the race is that there are multiple fields for any given racing category – e.g. there will be 5 Cat4 fields of 125 riders each. In both Cat4 and Cat5 there are some age-group options available.  There are a full range of Masters, Juniors and Women’s fields too.  As you can tell, when all is said and done this means thousands of riders from all over America.  All (relatively) in our back yard. All the open (non-age-group) Cat3, 4 and 5 races run on Saturday – this year the top 10 of each race will be invited to contest a champions final on the Sunday. Although it is only 22miles long, it will be hard.  Celebrations on Saturday night will clearly have to be restricted to the famous Chocolate Milk.

Now some people (meaning Jim) jokingly call this race “Seasonkill” because of it’s relatively early slot in the season and the toughness not only of the parcours but also of the field quality.  A few laps of Charge Pond or even two consecutive races at Ninigret park are not going to cut the mustard for training.  But there will be a group of us who are targetting this race very seriously. Assuming we don’t repeat last year’s clash with the Myles Standish race, we hope that there can be a meaninguful and impactful Cycle Lodge presence. Here is a link to the Battenkill website – and here is the link to the BikeReg registration page.  Please DO let us know if you intend to enter.