The Tour of the Battenkill kicks off with packet pickup at 6:00 a.m. at the Washington County Fairgrounds on Saturday September 12, 2020. The Medio Fondo starts at 8:00 a.m., the Gran Fondo starts at 9:15 a.m., and the Piccolo Fondo kicks off at 8:30 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 9:15 a.m. with a neutral roll out. The first 5 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 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 3:30 hours, it’s not overly long. But the 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
This year we will be offering a 26 mile “Piccolo” Fondo. This course still offers the famous Meeting House Rd dirt section and incredible views of Washington County. Make no mistake, it’s no walk in the park, but this distance allows a taste of the Tour of the Battenkill for riders whose legs aren’t in mid-season form or the casual weekend warrior.
Piccolo Fondo Course Map
Timing & Awards
We’ll 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 all races.
For the Gran Fondo, awards will be given to the top-3 male and top-3 female finishers overall & in each age group: Juniors (Under 18), 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70+.
For the Medio Fondo & Piccolo Fondo, awards will be given to the top-3 male and top-3 female finishers overall.
Riders who finish in the top three of their respective categories will receive a bottle of local chocolate milk, a new-for-2020 winner’s medal, and a sponsor gift bag. The top overall finisher will also earn the Tour of the Battenkill Champion’s Jersey.
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 our brewery partner. 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 9:00 a.m. You’ll receive your bib, timing chip, commemorative race tee, socks, and water bottle at this time.
Packet pick up will run from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday, 9/11, at Washington County Fairgrounds for those that want to skip the lines on race day morning! Please bring your ID with you. See you there!
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. / 8:30 a.m. / 9:15 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. See below for local deals from partner hotels in the area.
Or if camping is more your style, we can host tents and campers onsite at no charge. There will be showers, bathrooms, and overnight security onsite. Email us for details!
Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs
232 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Rate Code: TOB
Book by: 4/10/19
The Saratoga Hilton
534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Rate: $219.00 – $249.00
Rate Code: AQJI
Book by: 3/27/19
The Inn at Five Points
102 Lincoln Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Rate: $179.00 – $199.00
Rate Code: None
Book by: no cutoff date
Notes: All rooms have one bed, limit of two people per room
Hilton Garden Inn Saratoga Springs
125 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Rate Code: CYCLE
Book by: 4/12/19
Notes: 72 hour cancellation policy
Inn at Saratoga
231 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 583-1890 ext 0
Rate code: mention “Tour of the Battenkill” to receive rate
Book by: N/A
Notes – call in reservations only
Residence Inn Saratoga Springs
295 Excelsior Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Rate code: TBWT
Book by: 4/10/19
Notes: 2 night minimum stay
NEW FOR 2020: Want to wake up right at the race? You can now book a camping spot right at Washington Fairgrounds for only $30 for one night or $45 for both Friday and Saturday night of race weekend! This camping spot will have full hookups with gray water and a dumping station for black water. Power is 30 amp, and there are restrooms with running water.
You can also reserve a free camping spot when registering, which has power hookup only, with access to restrooms.