Hurricane Irene can’t stop Vermont’s Green Mountain Stage Race
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hurricane Irene can’t stop Vermont’s Green Mountain Stage Race

by Kyle Moore at 6:35 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Tom Zirbel wins men’s competition, Fortin best of the women

Tom ZirbelIt was one week ago that Hurricane Irene washed over the east coast of the United States, and while its impact on large cities like New York City and Boston was minimal, it caused havoc in the extreme northeastern parts of the United States. One of the states hardest hit was Vermont, where major flooding caused millions of dollars in damage and washed out bridges and roads.

In a state that is not used to receiving much attention, a bike race that normally doesn’t get much attention has received a bigger spotlight in recent days, mainly because of its resiliency. The Green Mountain Stage Race wasn’t able to be raced in its entirety, but race organizers are being commended for their quick thinking and swift moving. Race routes destroyed by the hurricane were quickly altered, and when the four-stage race was completed (albeit shortened by one stage), Tom Zirbel (Jamis Sutter Home) came out the winner of the men’s competition.

Here’s how it unfolded:

Stage 1: New Zealand’s Brett Tivers (Garneau Club Chaussures Norton Rose) bested Zirbel in the 5.7-mile opening time trial, held on September 2. Anders Newbury (Chipotle Development Team), the winner of the under-18 competition last year, was third.

Quick Results:

1, Brett Tivers (Garneau Club Chaussures Norton Rose) 5.7 mi in 13:28.9
2, Tom Zirbel (Jamis Sutter Home) at 0:06s
3, Anders Newbury (Chipotle Development Team) at 0:16s
4, Peter Hurst ( at 0:19s
5, Blair Berbert (Kelly Benefit Strategies) at 0:23s

Stage 2: Due to flooding issues, the stage was moved to the west side of the Green Mountains. At the end of an eventful day of racing, Tim Mitchell (CCB Racing) won the stage by a 21-second margin over the main field.

Quick Results:

1, Tim Mitchell (CCB Racing Team) 64 mi in 2:28:36
2, Simon Lambert Lemay (Spidertech p/b C10) at 0:21s
3, Robin Carpenter ( at 0:21s
4, Augusto Sanchez (GS Mengoni USA) at 0:21s
5, Adam Carr (TwinSix-Specialized) at 0:21s

Stage 3: It was a completely different route than past years after some more last minute changes, but it still concluded with a traditional ascent of the extremely steep Appalachian Gap. Near the mid-point of the stage, steep climbs led to the formation of an elite group of thirteen, with Zirbel, Newbury, and cyclo-cross specialist Jamey Driscoll amongst it. “We rode a steady pace up Baby Gap [the earlier slopes of Appalachian Gap],” Newbury said after the stage. “And then Zirbel rolled away on the short descent before the steep part started. No one thought he could climb that well and stay away,” Newbury said of the former fourth place finisher at the World Time Trial Championships. But Zirbel did stay away, and the big American finished 38 seconds ahead of Driscoll.

Quick Results:

1, Tom Zirbel (Jamis Sutter Home) 60 mi in 2:33:09
2, Jamey Driscoll (Jamis Sutter Home) at 0:38s
3, Derrick St. John (Ride With Rendall) at 0:38s
4, Anders Newbury (Chipotle Development Team) at 0:44s
5, Josh Dillon ( at 0:44s

Stage 4: Even as they were able to avoid the wrath of Hurricane Irene, race organizers couldn’t avoid another rain storm on Monday’s final stage of the Green Mountain Stage Race. What was supposed to be a criterium around the streets of Burlington was washed out by more heavy rains. Veronique Fortin, who would have been defending her leader’s jersey in the women’s competition, said that conditions were not conducive to quality racing. “With these conditions, it’s not safe to race, so I think this is the right decision,” she said today.

With Zirbel and Fortin crowned the winners today, organizers of Vermont’s biggest race can be happy with their resiliency, and hope for better luck next year.

Men’s Final GC:

1. Tom Zirbel (Jamis Sutter Home) in 5:15:40
2. Anders Newbury (Chipotle Development Team) at 0:00:54
3. Jamey Driscoll (Jamis Sutter Home) at 0:01:01
4. Derrick St John (Ride With Rendall) at 0:01:14
5. Josh Dillon ( at 0:01:17
6. Tim Mitchell (Ccb Racing Team) at 0:02:12
7. Robin Eckmann (Trek- Livestrong) at 0:02:35
8. Jordan Cheyne (Handrblock) at 0:02:41
9. Peter Hurst ( at 0:02:52
10. Aaron Fillion (Ride With Rendall) at 0:02:55

Women’s Final GC:

1. Véronique Fortin (Rocky Moutain-Desjardins Valeurs Mobilieres) in 6:42:00
2. Susan Palmer-Komar (P-K Express/hnz at 0:00:46
3. Kacy Wander at 0:01:30
4. Rachel Warner (Missing Link Coaching/specialized) at 0:02:00
5. Fabienne Gerard (Crca/fuoriclasse Racing-Discover Chiropractic) at 0:02:11


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