One of the largest annual races on the U.S. calendar, what "Battenkill Roubaix" lacks in cobbles, it makes up for in character. Looping 62 miles, the Tour of the Battenkill links several upstate New York bergs on a series of steep, dirt road climbs that wreak havoc on racers. A true sufferfest on race day, the route is also epic and scenic enough to warrant a ride year-round.
Starting from Cambridge, the course traces Route 313 northeast towards its first taste of dirt on Robertson Road, a lead-in to the first challenge of the day, a one-two punch of steep climbs up Perry Hill Road and Juniper Swamp Road (unpaved). Both climbs feature short, uber-steep pitches that are sure to test the limits of your lungs, legs, and gears—Juniper has been known to blow apart the field.
At the north end of the loop (26 miles in), the 2.5-mile climb up Joe Bean Road is the next significant hurdle. The average grade isn't much to speak of, but with several false summits and steep pitches, it's bound to leave a mark (even if it's paved). Just past the top, the route descends Ferguson Road, a trough-ridden dirt road sure to wring loose a waterbottle or two.
Back on pavement, the course traces the Battenkill River for about 9 miles into Greenwich, before continuing south towards its most challenging stretch, a series of three "un-pavé" stretches on Mountain Road, Becker Road, and Meetinghouse Road. With a non-stop mix of dirt road climbing and descending, there's barely a moment to recover in between these sections.
After 55 miles, the final dirt climb up Stage Road is equally unforgiving, challenging riders over 1.3 miles with false summits and relentless steep pitches. From the top of Stage Road, 5 miles of pavement remain to the finish back in Cambridge.
Location: 43.179144, -73.413820
The route plows through its fifth section of dirt on a downhill stretch on Ferguson Road.
Location: 43.090485, -73.499265
A popular spot for spectators to cheer on racers, Greenwich is also ideally located for a mid-ride pit stop for recreational riders tackling this route year-round.
Approaching Feedzone 1
Location: 43.091613, -73.344898
On race day, look for the second feedzone as the route turns north on Route 64A.
Approaching Feedzone 2
Location: 43.072430, -73.496475
Mountain Road: Dirt Section 5
Location: 43.049102, -73.514628
The first of three sustained dirt sections, Mountain Road makes a brief but brutal climb up the shoulder of Whelden Mountain before tracing contour lines south past Willard Mountain. Here, the unpaved road makes for a rough ascent and an equally tough descent.
Becker Road: Dirt Section 6
Location: 43.010798, -73.527288
Becker Road climbs the shallow side of Becker Hill, but it's still an unwelcome challenge right after Mountain Road.
Meeting House Road: Dirt Section 7
Location: 42.992155, -73.528833
The topography evens out briefly on Meeting House Road, but the pavement stays rough. Ahead, a climb that would ordinarily seem pretty tame will most likely feel pretty brutal.
Stage Road: Dirt Section 8
Location: 42.959061, -73.432574
If they haven't yet, Stage Road, the final climb of the ride, is where your legs are likely to become detached from your body. The 1.3-mile climb is rough, unpaved, and littered with steep pitches and false summits. From the top of the climb, just 5 miles remain to the finish back in Cambridge.
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