Green Mtn. Stage race rolls into Queen City - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Green Mtn. Stage race rolls into Queen City

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

This is the13th year for the Green Mountain Stage Race featuring athletes at all levels -- from professional to teenagers.

"I like this race  -- it's awesome.  All through Vermont -- lots of hills," said Phillip Truppelli, a 14 year-old racer from New Jersey competing for his third time.

The first three stages took place in the Mad River Valley. Stage one was on Friday -- a time trial. Stage two was a circuit race. "Then yesterday is a road race -- one big loop," explained Race Director Gary Kessler. "The pros did 100 miles yesterday. They climbed the baby gap lower part of Appalachian Gap twice and finished on the top of the Appalachian Gap."

Monday was The Queen City Criterium and organizers say it is a favorite stage for most of the 700 racers. "This is one of the best courses in the country. A lot of courses are just four turns -- this is six turns. We have a bunch of lefts and a right, there is a little elevation up and down and it is very challenging for the racers and they love the course and it is great to be in Burlington," Kessler said.

Spectators, like Chris Ford of Essex, enjoy the race as well. "The criterium is nice because it's a closed course. It's only one loop and there is lots of time to spectate. On a road race where there is probably 60 miles, like they did yesterday, you see them for 20 seconds as they  go by you... and that's it," he said.

Hundreds of people come down to watch the racers of course, but they also stay to eat and shop as well -- giving retailers and restaurants an end of summer boost. "We look forward to this day almost all year. It's the first Monday in September. It brings a lot of people to the area. Its a great race. A lot of people are down here and it's a Monday when we can do a lot of business," said Sam Handy with the Scuffer Steak and Ale House.

Racers come from all over the United States, Canada, Europe -- even the Caribbean -- to participate in what is called the largest Pro/Am road stage race east of the Mississippi.

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