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U.S. Cycling This Week: Green Mountain overcomes Irene

It’s not often that a non-NRC event gets top billing in this column, but with Hurricane Irene ravaging the Northeast, the Green Mountain Stage Race is going on, albeit with changes this weekend. Further south, the National Racing Calendar rolls toward its October conclusion with the Labor Day Omnium in Anderson, South Carolina.

The popular, four-day Green Mountain Stage Race gets out of the blocks Friday with the Warren Store time trial and will continue through the holiday weekend with four stages. While the opening TT and the closing criterium in Burlington are unaffected by road closures, organizers are re-routing the second and third stages at the apparent urging of the local community.

Race director Gary Kessler considered calling off the event after local roads and facilities were flooded last week.

“The towns and the local chamber said, ‘Don’t cancel,’” said Kessler. “The event has an economic impact of well over one and a quarter million dollars, so the last thing that the communities need now is cancelled hotel rooms and empty restaurants on the last weekend of summer. Vermont and Vermonters have a long history of resiliency.”

The event will carry on and Kessler’s crew is planning a new route to the east side of the Green Mountains for the stage 2 circuit race, as well as a stage 3 route that will end with an Appalachian Gap summit finish..

“Pulling this off has been an incredible roller coaster ride but the entire GMSR team has stepped up and we will put on another world class race,” said Kessler. “We are not forgetting about our neighbors who suffered as a result of the flooding so we plan to raise money for flood relief through the sale of GMSR merchandise and donations from the riders.”

Among the names on the startlist are a number of cyclocrossers looking to transition from road season, including Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworlds.com), Jamey Driscoll (Jamis-Sutter Home) and Robin Eckmann (Trek-Livestrong), as well as Driscoll’s Jamis teammate Tom Zirbel and Canadian national champion Véronique Fortin (Rocky Mountain-Desjardins Valeurs Mobilieres).

Green Mountain Stage Race – Waitsfield, Vermont
September 2-5

  • Stage 1: Warren Store Individual Time Trial
    September 2 9:15 a.m. (women) / 10:50 a.m. (men)
    5.7 mi.
  • Stage 2: Bridges Resort Circuit Race *moved to Hinesburg
    September 3 TBD
  • Stage 3: TBD *with Appalachian Gap summit finish
    September 4 TBD
  • Stage 4: Dealer.com Burlington Criterium
    September 5 2:10 p.m. (women) / 3:50 p.m. (men)
    50 laps (men) / 25 laps (women>

Sunbrella Labor Day Omnium – Anderson, South Carolina
September 2-4
$10,000 (men) / $5,000 (women)

The third-to-last event on the national calendar, the Labor Day Omnium is new for 2011 and should bring a number of top domestics pros chasing points to the northwest corner of South Carolina.

  • Celebrate Anderson! Time Trial
    September 2 6:00 p.m. (men and women)
    4.87 mi.
  • Celebrate Anderson! Criterium
    September 3 6:25 p.m. (women) / 7:30 p.m. (men)
    60 min. (women) / 75 min. (men)
  • Celebrate Anderson! Circuit Race
    September 4 12:30 p.m. (women) / 2:30 p.m. (men)
    44.8 mi. – 16 laps (women) / 70 mi. – 25 laps (men)

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