Hurricane season devastates Burlington, Vermont. Roads washed away. Damage to homes and the region no doubt in the millions. Our prayers and best wishes go out to all those who have been devastated by her wrath! The damage across Vermont is undeniable – whether you view it from the air or at ground level. US Senator Bernie Sanders said “Vermont is suffering the greatest natural disaster this state has ever seen”.
…and the race goes on! For many avid bike racers in the Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec and the North Eastern US – the Green Mountain Stage Race is considered a highlight of the racing calendar. The destruction caused by Irene has no doubt caused a massive organizational nightmare for the organizers of GMSR – congratulations on the work you have done to put the race on! I know the racers appreciate it. (My racer certainly does.) With the uncertainty in the week leading up to the race, it was unclear if the race would go on, and even if access to the area would be possible but you have managed to put it together. Kudos.
“2011 has certainly thrown us a few curve balls. The GMSR team has worked and will continue to work over the coming days to bring the quality event you have come to expect from us. The flooding in our area has been significant if you can afford to please make a contribution to flood assistance. I would like nothing more then to present a healthy check to these groups to support their efforts to help the people most hurt by this disaster.” – message from the organizer.
The Green Mountain Stage Race starts today. This race is no doubt an economic boost for the town, packing the area with racers and their entourage from both Canada and the US. Race routes have been changed and racers warned that GPS may not be the best way to find their way in to town with the destruction on the roads. Directions and road closures have been posted all over the web.
I would like to wish all the racers out there a fabulous race. Rubber side down and keep it safe. And when those bells toll for the final criterium on Monday – give the crowds a great show! And for those affected by Irene – our thoughts and best wishes are with you. If you would like to help the people of Vermont, click here for more information.