Organizers of the 2011 Tour of the Battenkill announce their Professional race as part of the 7th annual event on Sunday, April 10 in Cambridge, NY. The professional race which drew an international field in 2010 will be held the same day as the popular amateur event where an expected 3,000 participants are expected to compete. The Tour of the Battenkill is the largest sanctioned road cycling race in North America and is widely regarded as America’s toughest road cycling race. More than 40 States and 20 countries were represented at the event in 2010.
The professional men’s race will be 100 miles and will include 16 dirt road sections. The 64 mile women’s elite race will run earlier in the day during the Pro/Am. The course features rolling countryside, covered bridges, and direct passes through several small villages. There are many challenging climbs – total climbing for the pro men is over 4000 feet – with a maximum gradient of 18%.
In 2010, the USA’s Caleb Fairly of Texas won the men’s professional race following a 2-man break with fellow American Floyd Landis of California. Anna Berensfeld of Massachusetts won the 2010 women’s elite race over Connecticut’s Silke Wunderwald.
The event begins on Friday, April 8 with a new Cambridge Twilight Criterium to benefit the regional Public Safety Departments. A new addition to the event, the 6 corner criterium will feature a limited field of pro/elite men in downtown Cambridge. The Twilight Criterium will be preceded by the ‘Ride with the Pros’ event for children & families in Cambridge. In addition, professional racers will again be participating in regional outreach events at local schools and hospitals in the days leading up to the weekend event.
“We’re excited to be able to host the new twilight criterium and the professional races as part of our Pro/Am weekend this year,” said race director Dieter Drake. “This will bring excitement to the downtown area and our event expo that will be a great improvement over last year. It’s going to be a great weekend for amateurs, professionals, and spectators alike.”
The event expo will begin Friday evening and continue through Sunday afternoon. A live video broadcast of the race, sports & fitness vendors, local crafts and food, and family activities are all planned as part of the event adjacent to the revamped finish line area near the historic Cambridge Hotel.
Saturday, April 9 features, a Mini Kids Tour of Cambridge, the non-competitive Cycle for Health Bike Marathon to benefit wounded & disabled Veterans. Cycle for Health is a national charitable organization formed to combat childhood obesity. Pro/Am rider check-in will also be held from 3-6 PM on Saturday.
The competitive Tour of the Battenkill follows the next day on Sunday, April 10. More than 2500 participants are already registered for the event known as ‘America’s Queen of the Classics’.