On February 22nd, the Stowe Derby is celebrating its 70th year of the most talked about and unique cross country ski race in North America. What makes the 20k race unlike any other is that it starts with a 6k downhill (vertigal drop of 2,600 feet), from the top of the Toll Road on Mt. Mansfield. After navigating the twists and turns, and hairpins, the race enters the Mt. Mansfield Touring Center, where the climbing begins. Up to as many as 900 racers will be vying for place or pride, as they try and beat the clock all the way into the village of Stowe on the groomed rec path. This year, for the first time, a new category has been added to the fun. Fat bikes will be allowed to compete for the first time. There are only 100 slots for the riders, which have almost been filled. After the skate and classic skiiers have finished, the fat bikers will begin just above the touring center. Depending on conditions, the best skiers will finish in about 45 minutes. Some taking up to as much as 2 hours. We will know after the 22nd how fast the fat bikers will be.
If the snow and winter conditions continue as they have, this should be one of the best years ever. If you're considering signing up for The Derby, you can go here. If racing is not your thing, this is one of the best events to spectate. One of the most exciting viewing locations (and easy to get to) is at the top of the power line in the Mt. Mansfield Touring Center. That's where one of the trickiest turns is, hence lots of whipe outs.
So, no matter your interest, join the fun on February 22nd, including the after party at Sushi Yoshi, on the Mountain Road.
source: stowederby.com photo credit: stowetoday.com