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 2023 Gran course will again push the limits with 9,850+ feet of climbing ~112+ miles and four challenging mountain gaps. The course will include an ascent of Appalachian, Lincoln, Middlebury, and Brandon Gap. The course begins in the village of Bristol, Vermont, and heads east toward Lincoln. Climbing, albeit light, to begin with, starts just 1.5 miles in. You’ll climb up towards the center of Lincoln and the Appalachian Gap, the first mountain climb. From Appalachian Gap, you’ll descend into Fayston and then climb out of the valley heading south towards Warren and then turning to Lincoln Gap; this is where the real challenge begins.

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).

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 the course you choose and on your level of fitness and aggression, you should expect to be in the saddle for 5 to 12 hours. Refueling stops will be available at intervals of about 25 miles. In addition, mechanical/sag support is provided by local mechanics at Frog Hollow Bikes.

Sounds challenging? Absolutely! How about the Medio? The Medio distance of 80 miles traverses the Middlebury Gap and Brandon Gap with a challenging 5.9K’ of climbing. If that sounds too much for your palate, try the Piccolo: 40 miles and  2.7K’ of climbing with no gaps to climb but don’t expect a walk in the park on this one either.

2023 Course Highlights!*

  • Sustained grades of 20% to 24% on Lincoln Gap – the steepest paved mile in the U.S.
  • Gran Fondo (112 mi), Medio (80 mi), and Piccolo (40 mi) routes include stretches of iconic Vermont dirt roads. They are hard-packed and easily traversed: Approximately 10-20% of each course contains hardpack dirt roads.
  • Start/finish in Bristol, Vermont, at the Bristol Rec Club.
  • Rest stops are spaced approximately every 25-mile marker – all stocked with water, Hammer Nutrition, food, and first aid supplies.
  • Country stores and bathrooms along the way in Bristol, East Middlebury, Middlebury, Warren, Ripton, Lincoln, Salisbury, and Hancock.
  • Mechanical and “sag” support vans.

2023 Full Results


Course Maps

Ride with GPS links:


  • Gran – Pending
  • Medio – Pending
  • Piccolo – Pending

Google Interactive Map: TBD

Gran Fondo Course*


  • Direction – Clockwise
  • Distance – ~112 miles
  • Max Elevation – 2,556′
  • Max Grade – 24%
  • ~9,880′ of climbing
  • Hardpack Dirt Road – ~18 mi

Climbs – 4 Gaps

  • Appalachian Gap (west to east)
  • Lincoln Gap (east to west)
  • Middlebury Gap (west to east)
  • Brandon Gap (east to west)

Timed Segment for VTGF QOM & KOM awards

  • Lincoln Gap Climb

Timed Segments for GFNS Points

  • Appalachian Gap Climb
  • Lincoln Gap Climb
  • Middlebury Gap Climb
  • Brandon Gap Climb

Medio Fondo Course*


  • Direction – Clockwise
  • Distance – ~80 miles
  • Max Elevation – ~2,555 ft
  • ~5,500 ft of climbing
  • Hardpack Dirt Road – ~10 mi

Climbs – 2 Gaps

  • Middlebury Gap (west to east)
  • Brandon Gap (east to west)

GFNS Timed Segments

  • Middlebury Gap climb
  • Brandon Gap climb

Piccolo Fondo Course* (provistional)


  • Direction – Clockwise
  • Distance – ~40 miles
  • Start Elevation – ~449 ft
  • Max Elevation – ~1,863 ft
  • Max Grade – 12.6%
  • ~2,650 ft of climbing
  • Hardpack Dirt Road – ~10 mi

Timed Segments

  • This category is self-timed

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

**Dependant on the final course route

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