The Mountain Times

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Memorial Day Weekend marks the return of the Killington Stage Race

Event offers three days of cycling action for spectators

KILLINGTON - For the fourth year in a row, top competitive cyclists will converge on Killington, over the Memorial Day weekend for the return of its namesake Stage Race. Once considered one of the most prestigious road cycling events in the Eastern U.S., and a big annual boost to the local economy, the Killington Stage Race was revived in 2010 by the town after a ten-year hiatus. Town officials expect this year's race to draw over 1,300 competitors and spectators for the three-day event set for May 25 through 27.

Race Director Gary Kessler has seen momentum growing over the last four years and expects another great turnout. "We've added two new races this year: A Gran Fondo during the road race and a citizen's event during the circuit race. We've also changed up the overall schedule of events. We believe these new features will further challenge the riders and give more people a chance to experience the most exciting stages."

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Popular with cyclists and spectators alike, the Killington Stage Race is a series of three races structured to cover a variety of terrain and distances, and set against the landscape of Vermont's Green Mountains.

Saturday's 18-mile Lookout & First Stop Bike Shop Circuit Race kicks off at the Killington Skyeship on Route 4, and finishes at Killington's Sunrise Base Area on Route 100, just south of Route 4. The circuit race features an exciting sprint during every lap and a final sprint to the finish line. The best vantage points for spectators on Saturday are at the Coolidge Historical site at Plymouth Notch, the Salt Ash Inn at the intersection of Routes 100 and 100A, and the finish line at the Sunrise Base Area for the sprints.

Reputed as one of the most challenging New England races due to the final five-mile climb up East Mountain Road, Sunday's 61-mile Champion System Road Race begins at the Skyeship Base Area at 9:15 a.m., and finishes at Killington Resort's K-1 Base area.

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Monday's Long Trail Brewery Individual Time Trial stage kicks off at 9 a.m. Stage 3 starts just west of the Long Trail BrewingCompany's location on Route 4 in Bridgewater, and finishes at the Killington town offices on River Road. Individual time trials will take place throughout the day. The best viewing for Stage 3 is at the start in Bridgewater, at the Skyeship Base Area on Route 4, and along River Road in Killington.

"We look forward all year to the return of the Killington Stage Race," says Amy Morrison, Events & Marketing Coordinator for the Town of Killington. "It's a great kickoff to our summer season and a wonderful way for both cyclists and spectators to experience the beauty of the region."

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Spectators are encouraged to visit www.KillingtonStageRace.com and click on "Stage Info." Areas marked with KoM indicate a "King of the Mountain" area, where cyclists will be competing to see who can climb the fastest. These areas - found in Plymouth on Saturday and East Mountain Road on Sunday - are highly competitive and provide excellent viewing areas, especially as athletes reach the top of these uphill climbs. Other excellent viewing areas include anywhere along Route 100 South, or from the municipal buildings on River Road during Monday's time trials.

Located in the heart of Vermont's Green Mountains, Killington is home to the Killington Ski and Golf Resort, Green Mountain National Golf Course, exceptional restaurants and four seasons of endless outdoor activities. More information on all events is available at www.discoverkillington.com.