POULTNEY — Slate Valley Trails hosted the inaugural Slate Valley Epic Mountain Bike Race on Saturday, July 31. One hundred fifty racers from around the Northeast and beyond came to conquer the 38-mile course of over 5,000 feet of climbing. The weather blessed the event with a beautiful, sunny day — a rarity this summer in Poultney. With over 40 volunteers, Slate Valley Trails (SVT) kicked off the race at 7:30 a.m. with the first rider coming across the finish line at 11:11 a.m., and the final rider crossing at 4:09 p.m.
This is what some of our racers said:
“Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who made the Slate Valley Epic happen today. All the organizers and volunteers did a great job!”
“At 53, this was my first ride of this kind. I didn’t expect to finish, but every time I encountered an aid station or a course volunteer, I was filled with more energy and spirit to keep going! Great event, great route, HARD route! Thank you!” – Rich First, founder and president POMG Bike Tours of Vermont.
“Hands down, that was one of the very best mountain bike races/events I’ve ever done. Great course and an awesome vibe. Volunteers were phenomenal.” Greg S.
“Awesome event yesterday – amazing trails, extremely well-run!! Of all the races I’ve done – this was the most well-marked with the nicest volunteers!” Heather L.
“Excellent job yesterday!!! So well organized and trail markings were excellent!” Stephanie L.
The overall female winner, Lea Davison of Sunderland is a two-time Olympian for Team USA. The overall male winner, Jake Hollenbach, resides in Richmond. Thirty-five of the racers are members of SVT with the winner in the members’ male division going to Jon Rowe of Bennington, and the female division went to Mary Guggenberger of North Clarendon. Race Director Bill Alexander said, “For our first year Slate Valley Trails really didn’t know what to expect but we knew we had great land owners and great members, many that were volunteering their time for our Epic event. What really made it so successful was the great racers we had attending our event. These racers came across the finish line with big smiles, covered in mud after nearly 40 miles of tough hills and technical terrain. Epic racers were great, so thanks to them we look forward to 2022.”
To see full details about this and future SVT events, visit slatevalleytrails.org.