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Races Sought For 2010 Nature Valley Pro Ride Calendar

October 20, 2009

Minneapolis (Oct. 19, 2009) – A national program is offering race promoters the opportunity to send their top amateurs to the 2010 edition of the Nature Valley Grand Prix (Minnesota & Western Wisconsin, June 16-20) to compete against the country’s top men and women professional bicycle racers.

Entering its third year, the “Nature Valley Pro Ride” will select amateur men and women at regional races around the United States to become part of a pair of Nature Valley composite teams for the 12th annual edition of the five-day stage race that begins June 16.

The Nature Valley Grand Prix is the top ranked event on the 2010 USA Cycling National Race Calendar (NRC), attracting tens of thousands of cycling enthusiasts, pro athletes and avid recreational riders to Minnesota.

Nature Valley Pro Riders line up for the Saint Paul Criterium. Members of the Nature Valley Cycling Team were selected at qualifier events held around the country. Team members won trips to the Nature Valley Grand Prix, the top ranked race on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar. Photo Credit: Stephanie Williams

“This is a chance for a race promoter to raise the participation and visibility of their event at no extra cost,” Nature Valley Grand Prix Race Director David LaPorte said. “As for the riders who are selected, they can look forward to racing in front of huge crowds and being treated like a rock star at our event.”

“I made the commitment to drive the 13 hrs to St. Louis for the Hillsboro-Roubaix road race”, wrote 2009 Nature Valley Pro Rider Chris Winn of Lakewood, Colorado, in his blog. “Long way to go for a bunch of Coloradans for a weekend suffer-fest. The race was the second qualifier event for the Nature Valley Pro Ride, a chance for amateurs to get the complete pro package treatment in a composite team for the Nature Valley [Grand Prix] Stage Race in June.”

Amateur racers (Category I men and Category 1,2 women) who qualify at a Nature Valley Pro Ride event receive a “battlefield promotion” that earns them free entry to the race, travel stipends, team clothing, housing, ground transportation, and staff support for their composite team.

Races that become part of the Nature Valley Pro Ride schedule can expect an aggressive marketing and media relations campaign, as well as on-site sampling of Nature Valley Granola Bars and complimentary staffing of the booth by company representatives.

“We’re looking for the top regional races who want to take their game to a higher level,” LaPorte said. “We’ll consider road races, criteriums and stage races, as long as they get strong fields. And our promotional programs will make those fields even stronger.”

To be considered for the 2010 Nature Valley Pro Ride, a race must be permitted through USA Cycling and take place no later than June 13. Preference will be given to races that take place between March and mid-May.

Interested promoters must submit their application by Dec. 15. More details and a downloadable application can be found at www.naturevalleyproride.com.

The 2009 Nature Valley Pro Ride schedule will be announced Jan. 4, 2010.

About the Nature Valley Grand Prix

The Nature Valley Grand Prix began as a one-day criterium in Saint Paul in 1999. Its schedule and prestige have grown steadily until now, in its 12th year, it is ranked at the top of the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar. The 2010 Nature Valley Grand Prix schedule includes a unique mix of three criteriums (short circuit races), two road races and a time trial as the stages of the race move from downtown Saint Paul, to Cannon Falls, to Minneapolis, to Menomonie, and, finally culminates in Stillwater. For more information visit: www.NatureValleyGrandPrix.com

About Nature Valley

Nature Valley, the brand that created the granola bar category in 1975, brings variety to healthy, active consumers looking for wholesome and great-tasting snacks. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Nature Valley is part of General Mills, a leading global manufacturer and marketer of consumer foods products.

About the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar

Entering its 14th season in 2010, the USA Cycling 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. For more information on the NRC, visit www.usacycling.org/nrc/ or contact Micah Rice at (719) 434-4283 or mrice@usacycling.org.

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