America's Cup a huge success in sutton
By. M. Helmuth Starhemberg
People in Sutton embrace the annual America's Cup bicycle race for a number of reasons: The restaurants, because they are full, as are the local inns, B&B's, hotels and any other conceivable accomodation, as approximately 250 professional or gifted amateur bicyclists arrive in town, many accompanied by team sponsors, spouses, partners or family. The other reason to gloat is that the town on Sutton goes to great lenghts every year to eradicate every pothole, down to the smallest. The roads are cleared with such precision that there is not a loose pebble to be found.
This year the event started on Friday with individual time trials, on Saturday was a road race, starting and ending in Sutton. The route was a challenging 18 kilometers of severe hills going toward Glen Sutton, a scary fast descent into Abercorn and then a flat sprint back to Sutton on Route 139. This had to be repeated three times!
The "big one" is always reserved for Sunday and this year it was an incredibly well planned 85 km stage that went from Sutton to Brome, from there to Knowlton, continuing to Mansonville, Glen Sutton and returning to Sutton. There are numerous severe prolonged climbs just between Sutton and Knowlton. Knowlton to Mansonville is a road racer's delight with moderate hillclimbing and very fast flat stretches. After Mansonville, the leaders and the Peleton are negotiating the undulating road through Missisquois vally and Glen Sutton, after which there is a tough set of hills just about at the time when most riders would like to rest their bones. The Scenic road into Sutton also has two fast descents followed by challenging uphill climbs.
The weather was perfect on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday the Peleton encountered two small thunderstorms but most riders said that they actually found it refreshing as it happened after the mid-point of the race and everyone goot cooled off. Other than some crashes with only minor injuries, the race was safely conducted by hundreds of volunteers, all clad in brighr red "Coup d Amerique" shirts