The 2018 Tour of the Battenkill kicks off with packet pickup at 6:00 a.m. at the Washington County Fairgrounds on Saturday April, 28, 2018. The Medio Fondo starts at 8:00 a.m. and the Gran Fondo starts at 9:00 a.m. Click a button below (or simply scroll down) to get all the essential details.
The Tour of the Battenkill Gran Fondo is a 75-mile mass-start event for riders wanting a challenging, scenic, and competitive race. Riders are grouped by ability at the starting line and begin simultaneously at 9:00 a.m. with a neutral roll out. The first 7 miles will feature a full police escort and rolling road closure. After that, the roads will be open to the public, but traffic is very sparse. Course marshals will be stationed at all critical intersections. Neutral service is dedicated with cars and/or motorcycles. Sag wagons are also provided for riders not able to complete the course.
There have been a lot of superlatives thrown around about the Tour of the Battenkill since its inception in 2004: “America’s biggest one-day road race,” “the toughest one-day road race in the country,” “the greatest number of flat tires at a cycling event…”
Its steep, punchy climbs help shatter the field of over 2,000 riders, with a group of six finishing together considered large. Of course, plenty of other races get more vertical, and with a course length of 75 miles and winning times of 3:00 – 3:30 hours, it’s not overly long. But the loop course that starts and finishes at the Washington County Fairgrounds is unlike any other in the US. It’s a back-road journey through open farmland, narrow canopies of trees, and a covered bridge — the kind of naturally car-free, rural roads you wish you could ride everyday.
Battenkill’s numerous dirt sections are its trademark, and therein lies one of the special ingredients that have led to its popularity. Whether it’s actually the toughest one-day race in America is a matter of opinion, but to many of the riders — especially those new to racing — it certainly feels like it. The list of DNFs isn’t overly long, but the dirt sections can often result in punctured tires, so be sure to bring plenty of spares, pumps, and CO2 cartridges, or perhaps tubeless tires, sealant, or extra-big rubber.
Rather than being a discouragement, the flat-tire factor actually contributes to the day’s drama. It means uncertainty and luck that could work for or against you. Moreover, the punctures come because you’re out there flying down gravel roads in a cloud of dust, with a number pinned to your back, and a tunnel-vision goal of getting to the front and not being gapped.
The Tour of the Battenkill Gran Fondo is truly a one-of-a-kind race for those seeking a serious challenge shrouded in pastoral beauty. The result is that everyone who finishes, even everyone who starts, goes home with rich stories to tell.
Gran Fondo Course Map
The Tour of the Battenkill Medio Fondo is a 40-mile mass-start event for riders wanting a challenging, scenic, and competitive race. Riders are grouped by ability at the starting line and begin simultaneously at 8:00 a.m. with a neutral roll out. The first 7 miles will feature a full police escort and rolling road closure. After that, the roads will be open to the public, but traffic is very sparse. Course marshals will be stationed at all critical intersections. Neutral service is dedicated with cars and/or motorcycles. Sag wagons are also provided for riders not able to complete the course.
Like the Gran Fondo, the Medio Fondo course offers a challenging yet scenic ride through the rolling hills of upstate New York, but with 2,500 feet of elevation change instead of 4,800, less sections on dirt roads (but including the infamous Meeting House Road and the epic Stage Road), and nearly half the distance. It’s the perfect race for those who want a less rigorous ride through the pastoral beauty of Battenkill Valley.
Medio Fondo Course Map
Timing & Awards
Unlike in years past, we’ll now be recording times with a chip timing system. All riders will receive a timing chip and awards will be given to the top finishers in both the Gran Fondo and the Medio.
For the Gran Fondo, awards will be given to the top-3 male and top-3 female finishers in each age group: 18-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70+.
For the Medio Fondo, awards will be given to the top-3 male and top-3 female finishers overall.
The awards ceremony will take place near the Finish around 2:00 p.m. Riders who finish in the top three of their respective categories will receive a bottle of local chocolate milk, a new-for-2018 winner’s medal, and a sponsor gift bag. The top overall finisher will also earn the Tour of the Battenkill Champion’s Jersey.
The 2017 races were conducted under a different format, but you can find those results here.
Not only do you get a wonderful day of amazingly scenic cycling, but you’re also treated to an after-party right at the fairgrounds, featuring FREE food for the participants. As if that weren’t awesome enough, riders 21+ also get tasty craft beer from a local brewery. The best part? It’s all included with your registration!
Packet pick-up will be held near the starting line at the Washington County Fairgrounds on the morning of the race from 6:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. (the race starts at 9:00 a.m.). You’ll receive your bib, timing chip, commemorative race tee, socks, and water bottle at this time.
We’ll also hold an optional packet pickup the Friday before the race at a location to be determined. Stay tuned for an announcement here and on our Facebook page.
Parking for the race is conveniently located next to the Start/Finish, so there will be no bag check.
Directions & Parking
Parking for cyclists and spectators is FREE and will be adjacent to the Start/Finish at the Washington County Fairgrounds, 392 Old Schuylerville Rd, Greenwich, NY 12834. The entrance to the parking lot is off Route 29 and will be marked with signs.
The races begin at 8:00 a.m. / 9:00 a.m., so please arrive at least two hours beforehand so you have time to park, unload, check-in, and get to the starting line.
The weekend of the race is a busy one in the area so hotels tend to sell out months in advance. If you’re planning on spending the night (or weekend) in Saratoga Springs, it’s best to book early via a discount site like Priceline to get the best rates. We’ve also negotiated preferred rates for you at some of the best local hotels:
Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs Downtown – Get the most out of your weekend by staying right in the heart of Saratoga Springs (only 20 minutes from the race). Call to make a reservation and mention the special discount code “RRS” for a rate of $224/night.