For five days this June the professional bicycle racing of the Nature Valley Grand Prix in its 11th year will converge on Minnesota. One of the nation’s top celebrated biking events, it involves 300 professional athletes from around the globe, recreational riders and enthusiasts of all ages that gather for multiple events in June.
Due to downtown construction in Minneapolis the criterium part of this five-day stage race will now be held Friday evening in Uptown on June 12.
The Friday Evening Uptown Criterium will showcase competing professional teams racing around Calhoun Square on a course that comprises six tight corners.
The Nature Valley Grand Prix attracts the top professional cyclists from around the country along with many international stars. It is the top-ranked stage race on USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar. Entering its 13th season in 2009, the National Racing Calendar (NRC) is an all-inclusive road cycling series sanctioned by USA Cycling. It is designed to provide a ranking system for all elite-level cyclists, both amateur and professional, through participation in the nation’s premier cycling events. The Nature Valley Grand Prix’s defending champions are Olympic Champion Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo-Lifeforce) and Australian Rory Sutherland (HealthNet), ranked second on the NRC in 2006.
Like the Loppet, the event is a fund-raiser. All proceeds from the all volunteer-run event will be donated to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, the festival’s benefiting charity.
Stay tuned to the UNN as the details unfold for this anticipated community event. For more information see www.NatureValley.com.