Local man wins prestigious bike race

CAMBRIDGE, NY - Considered the toughest one-day race in America, the Tour of the Battenkill is a race unlike any other. Racers competed over 82 miles of rolling terrain on both dirt and paved roads as they travel through the world famous Battenkill Valley.

Alex Vanias, 20, of Leroy, was up for the challenge. Vanias has roots in Luther. His mom, Terri Petschauer, was born and raised in that Lake County community.

He and his family traveled to New York this past weekend. Held on April 10, the race started and finished in the scenic village of Cambridge, New York and coursed through covered bridges, family farms, and rural villages along the many challenging backcountry roads that traverse Southern Washington County, New


Alex plotted the course and made plans with his support team, mom and dad, for the all-important feed zones along the course. The feed zone exchanges went well but he did lose a full bottle after hitting a pot hole on the dirt trail and rode 20 miles without water. Alex stated that he started cramping about 30 miles into the race mainly because of working so hard up the hill and then resting down the hills.

Being unknown to so many in the field, other riders didn’t know his strengths, but Alex did and broke away with 12 miles remaining. He stayed away from the peleton all the way to the finish line, finishing with a 17 second lead over second place.

The category 2 race was limited to 150 riders. Of these, just 109 actually finished the race. Vanias placed first and plans to compete in a variety of cycling races during the summer. The second place finisher was from Maryland and third place from Connecticut.