Explore the Course

Each year the course’s four gaps are drawn from a selection of seven gaps; Appalachian Gap, Lincoln Gap, Roxbury Gap, Moretown Gap, Rochester Gap, Middlebury Gap, and Brandon Gap. The popular 6-gap ride includes all but Moretown Gap. Depending on road construction projects, which have been many, the course will vary from year to year creating a unique ride each time.

The provisional Vermont Gran Fondo course plans for 2019 includes a double ascent of Appalachian(App) Gap, once over Middlebury Gap and of course, the pinnacle climb, Lincoln Gap. The loop begins in the village of Bristol, Vermont, and heads east towards Lincoln. Climbing, albeit light, to begin with, starts just 1.5 miles in. You’ll climb up towards the center of Lincoln and then on towards Jerusalem and Appalachian Gap, a spectacular climb with an amazing westerly view at the summit. Once you enter the climb it wastes no time and grade increases rapidly; this is where the 32T cassette rear will become your best friend. The final quarter mile to the first rest stop at the summit is a grinder but, the view is worth it.

Following a refueling, at the summit of App Gap, you’ll descend into the valley passing the famous Mad River Glen ski resort, a local favorite. From here the jury is out, waiting on permissions and construction schedules to be finalized but, we can tell you that the App Gap is just the beginning…three more big climbs to come and another 80+ miles.

With a 24% maximum grade and an average grade of 15%, the east side of Lincoln Gap is reported to be the steepest paved mile in the U.S., according to Bicycling Magazine (June 2008) and now one of the world’s steepest climbs by Global Cycling Network (GCN). The Gran course will again push the limits with 10,736 ft of climbing and 114 miles.

Although Lincoln Gap has often been singled out for its unique status, other gaps in the selection are well worthy of notice. For example, Appalachian Gap, Roxbury Gap, Rochester Gap, and Middlebury Gap all include sections with impressive grades, some a steeper grade than Lincoln Gap’s 24% while the remaining all topping 15%; Appalachian(26%), Roxbury(16%), Rochester(17%), Brandon(18%), Moretown(17.6%), and Middlebury(27.8%).

Lincoln Gap Named in top 9 Steepest Climbs in the World

Depending on your level of fitness and aggression you should expect to be in the saddle 5 to 10 hours. Refueling stops will be available at the peak of Appalachian Gap, Lincoln Gap, and other critical locations. In addition, mechanical/sag support is provided by local mechanics at Frog Hollow Bikes.

Sounds challenging? You betcha! How about the Medio? The Medio Difficile distance (67+ miles) traverses the Appalachian gap and Lincoln Gap with 7K+ feet of climbing. If that sounds like too much for your palate, try the Medio Facile (aka “Challenge Lite” with more distance but, less climbing), and skip out on the steep grade of Lincoln Gap(15% average)by taking on Appalachian Gap and Middlebury Gaps for a total of 77 miles and 6,110′ of climbing. Still too much for your taste? Then try the low-calorie version, the Piccolo: ~39 miles and  2,850′ feet of climbing.

2019 Course Highlights!*

  • Sustained grades of 20% to 24% on Lincoln Gap–the steepest paved mile in the U.S.
  • Gran Fondo, Medio Difficile & Facile Fondos and Piccolo Fondo routes include stretches of iconic Vermont dirt roads. They are hard packed and easily traversed: Approximately ~11 miles for Gran riders, ~15 miles for Medio Difficile, ~3 miles for Medio Facile, and ~7 miles for Piccolo.
  • Start/finish in Bristol, Vermont a the Bristol Rec Club.
  • Rest stops spaced at approximately every 20-mile marker – all stocked with water, Gatorade, food, first aid supplies.
  • Country stores and bathrooms along the way in Bristol, East Middlebury, Middlebury, Warren, Ripton, Lincoln, and Hancock.
  • Mechanical and “sag” support vans.
  • Full Moto support.
  • FULL COURSE GPS FILE DOWNLOAD – Provisional

Gran Fondo Course *(Provisional)

Stats

  • Distance – ~109 miles (175 km)
  • Start Elevation – ~449 ft
  • Max Elevation – ~2,415 ft
  • Max Grade – 24%
  • ~11,200 ft (3225 m) of climbing

Climbs

  • 5 Category 2 climbs
  • 2 Category 3 climbs
  • 1 Category 4 climbs

4 Gaps

  • Appalachian (west to east) 2,371 ft
  • Lincoln (east to west) 2,415 ft
  • Appalachian (west to east) 2,371 ft
  • Middlebury (east to west) 2,123 ft

Course Links*

  • Complete Course details on Strava
  • Download the GPS files (includes all courses) – DOWNLOAD
  • Printable PDF Cue Sheet DOWNLOAD

Register for the event


Medio Difficile Fondo Course* (Provisional)

Stats

  • Distance – ~65.6 miles (108.8 km)
  • Start Elevation – ~449 ft
  • Max Elevation – ~2,555 ft
  • Max Grade – 24%
  • ~6,929 ft (2109 m) of climbing

Climbs

  • Three Category 2 climbs
  • Two Category 3 climbs

2 Gaps

  • Appalachian (west to east) 2,371 ft
  • Lincoln (east to west) 2,415 ft

Course resources

  • Complete Medio Difficile Course details on STRAVA
  • Download the GPS files – (includes all courses) – DOWNLOAD
  • Printable PDF Cue Sheet DOWNLOAD

Register for the event


Medio Facile Fondo Course (Provisional)*

Stats

  • Distance – ~77 miles (124.3 km)
  • Start Elevation – ~449 ft
  • Max Elevation – ~2,555 ft
  • Max Grade – 13.4%
  • ~7,502ft (1864 m) of climbing

Climbs

  • Two Category 2 climbs
  • One Category 5 climb

2 Gaps

  • Appalachian Gap (west to east) 2,371 ft
  • Middlebury Gap (east to west) 2,123 ft

Course resources (provisional)

  • Complete Medio Course details on STRAVA
  • Download the GPS files – (includes all courses) – DOWNLOAD
  • Printable PDF Cue Sheet DOWNLOAD

Register for the event


Piccolo Fondo Course (Provisional)*

Stats

  • Distance – ~38.8 miles (62.4 km)
  • Start Elevation – ~449 ft
  • Max Elevation – ~1,863 ft
  • Max Grade – 12.6%
  • ~2,846 ft (867.5 m) of climbing

Climbs

  • One Category 2 climb

Course resources

  • Complete Piccolo Course details on STRAVA
  • Download the GPS files – (includes all courses) – DOWNLOAD
  • Printable PDF Cue Sheet DOWNLOAD

Register for the event

*Based on the average calculation of Strava and Map My Ride.


*all route details are subject to change at any time.

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