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Registration Opens For Fixed Gear Classic

May 4, 2010

Minneapolis (May 4, 2010) – Registration is now open for the Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic, a thrilling three days of track racing at the National Sports Center Velodrome in Blaine, Minn., that leads off the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival.

The Fixed Gear Classic provides different fields for men (Pro-I-II) and women (Pro-I-II-III) in a unique dual omnium program that showcases separate competitions for sprinters and endurance specialists. Competition begins Friday night, June 11 and runs through Sunday, June 13. Events will include both men’s and women’s Madison races along with cross-over events like the Miss-n-Out that offer points for both omniums.

“Track was a part of the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival for the first three years, from 1999-2001, culminating with the 2001 Elite Track Nationals,” Nature Valley Grand Prix Executive Director David LaPorte said. “We brought it back in 2008, but the economy forced us to take a year off in 2009. Now it’s back, this time we hope for good. By bringing track racing under the same media and marketing umbrella as the Nature Valley Grand Prix, we hope to gain national exposure for this sport even in non-Olympic years.”

Fields are filling fast through online registration, which closes June 4. Down-loadable registration forms and more details can be found at

The Fixed Gear Classic is run in conjunction with the Nature Valley Grand Prix, the premier stage race on the 2010 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar. This year’s race includes stops in Saint Paul, Cannon Falls, Minneapolis, Menomonie, and Stillwater. The Nature Valley Grand Prix is a part of the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival, a volunteer-run event, with all proceeds donated to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, the festival’s benefiting charity. More information can be found at:


Nature Valley Grand Prix Rolls Into Menonomie

April 14, 2010

On Saturday, June 19st, 2010, the Nature Valley Grand Prix rolls into Menomonie, WI. Professional and amateur men and women will be vying for a Stage 5 race victory in rural Dunn County, marking the first time the NVGP has left the lines of the North Star State.

The men’s road race consists of 95 miles, marked by rolling hills and long climbs that will impact the standings for the entire Nature Valley Grand Prix. The women will cover a 76-mile course that follows the same beginning and ending roadways. The racers start and end in historic downtown Menomonie. The excitement will be heightened as the pros battle through four finishing laps of a 3-mile in-town circuit.

When the racing leaves town, there will be plenty to do in Menomonie until the men and women return. The professional men depart at noon, and the women take off at 1:30 pm. With an estimated return time slotted at 4:00 pm for the first group of professional men, you’ll have many opportunities to enjoy a wide variety of activities.

The Menomonie Chamber of Commerce has provided race attendees with a list of exciting activities for June 20th:

Community Bike Ride (11:00 am) – Your choice of either a 15 or 30 mile ride. Maps and cue sheets provided. The rides bring you to viewing points along the pro road course. Arrive ahead of the pros, watch them fly by and proceed to the next stop before returning to Menomonie in time for the finishing circuits. All rides depart from the UW Stout parking lot #4 at 13th Ave and S. Broadway. Showers are available upon your return to Menomonie.

Expo (11:00 am – 5:00 pm) – The Expo features bike and fitness displays. You’ll find all the latest and greatest gear and gadgets, info on clubs, programs and events, and much more. The Expo is located in downtown Menomonie at the UW Stout Clock Tower Courtyard.

CHALK Full of Fun (12:30 pm – 3:00 pm) – Join us for some great chalk fun as children are encouraged to let their creative sides shine. Work with local artists on designing a chalk masterpiece on the sidewalks located adjacent to the UW Stout Clock Tower Courtyard. View the magical pieces of art and watch as imaginations run wild. Adult participation is welcomed. Meet at the UW Stout Clock Tower Courtyard.

Children’s Games (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) – Age-appropriate games for children ages 3-11. Face painting will be available, too. Meet at the Mabel Tainter Theatre, lower level.

Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, Historic Theatre Tours (1:00 – 4:00 pm) – The Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater is a fully functional Victorian era theater. It was constructed in 1889 as a tribute to young Mabel Tainter, a lover of music and the arts. The Memorial was commissioned by Mrs. and Captain Andrew Tainter, lumber baron for Knapp, Stout & Co. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Theatre is open for self-guided tours. A 15 minute movie on the history of the Knapp, Stout & Co Lumber Company, the largest lumber company in the world between 1850 and 1900, will be showing continuously.

Louis Smith Tainter House, Historic Mansion Tours (1:00 – 3:00 pm) – The house was originally build by lumber baron, Andrew Tainter. It is now home to UW Stout University Foundation Inc. and the UW Stout Alumni Association. The mansion is open for self-guided tours.

University of Wisconsin – Stout Campus Tours (1:00 pm and 2:00 pm) – Take a one-hour walking guided tour and see UW Stout, recognized as a comprehensive, career-focused polytechnic university where students, faculty and staff use applied learning, scientific theory and research to solve real-world problems. Meet in the UW-Stout Clock Tower Courtyard for the start of the tours.

Fruit by the Foot Stunt Rider Demonstration (12:00 noon – 3:30 pm) – Spectators of all ages enjoy the Bicycle Stunt Shows. The Fruit by the Foot Stunt Riders use amazing bicycle stunts, a high energy announcer, and upbeat music to ensure a fun fast paced and unforgettable addition to our event! You won’t believe your eyes when you see what these riders can do! Main St and 3rd St.

Haunted Menomonie Presentation (2:15 pm) – Ghosts and goblins have visited Menomonie…and they may still be here. Come and hear the stories of Menomonie’s chilling past. Meet at the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts.


Nature Valley to Sponsor 2010 Bicycle Festival

February 1, 2010

Granola bar maker increases commitment to all forms of cycling

Minneapolis-Saint Paul (February 1, 2010) Organizers of the Minnesota Bicycle Festival have announced that Nature Valley is increasing its commitment. After sponsoring the Nature Valley Grand Prix pro stage race for ten years, they will expand their involvement to sponsor the overall festival in 2010. The event, which still includes the Nature Valley Grand Prix, has been renamed the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival and will take place June 11-20, 2010.

“Nature Valley’s growing commitment to cycling stands in sharp contrast to many other sponsors in the sport who are reducing or eliminating their cycling programs,” said Festival Executive Director David LaPorte. “Nature Valley is looking towards the future and recognizes that cycling is one of the most popular activities in the country. While we’re thrilled that their commitment to our event is growing, we’re even more pleased that they are supporting the sport as a whole, which is our mission as well.”

The Nature Valley Bicycle Festival will take place June 11-20, 2010 and will include the Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic and the renowned Nature Valley Grand Prix pro stage race, considered the prime event on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar.

The Nature Valley Grand Prix professional stage race opens June 16 in Saint Paul with a morning time trial and evening criterium held in Downtown Saint Paul adjacent to Rice Park. The Nature Valley Grand Prix continues with a road race in Cannon Falls on June 17. Stage 4 takes place in Minneapolis on Friday evening June 18 in the city’s dynamic Uptown neighborhood.

On Saturday, June 19, the racers travel east to Menomonie, WI for the Menomonie Road Race, marking the first time that the Nature Valley Grand Prix includes a stage outside of Minnesota. Racers will contest Stage 6, the Stillwater Criterium, on Sunday, June 20, with both men and women cyclists completing the short circuit race, which includes riding up Chilikoot Hill 20 times, a grueling 24-percent-grade hill climb, considered the most difficult in North American cycling.

In addition to professional racing, other activities, including the Fan Zone, stunt riders, musical entertainment and bike and fitness expos will be offered at all stages of the five-day race with the exception of the time trial. The Tour de Kids fun races at each site are free and are open to children age 12 and under.

The Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic will take place at the National Sports Center Velodrome in Blaine the weekend of June 11-13, prior to the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Velodrome track racing is an Olympic sport which features world class cyclists racing at speeds of up to 40 mph. Bikes used in fixed-gear track races have only one gear and do not have brakes, making the races fast and exciting for both spectators and riders.

Now in its 12th year, the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is a five-day celebration of cycling that includes amateur and professional racing and community events. The Nature Valley Grand Prix has become the premier professional bike race in the U.S., attracting top American racing teams and riders from around the world. Proceeds from the Nature Valley Grand Prix are donated to Children’s Hospital and its Pediatric Hospice program.

The Nature Valley Grand Prix is free and open to the public. It is the only professional sporting event in Minnesota for which no admission ticket is required. The festival is a natural fit for Minnesota and Wisconsin as both states are populated with cycling enthusiasts. Several urban bike trails have opened in the past few years and the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area boasts the most commuter bike trips per capita, an honor it shares with Portland, Oregon. For more information and a detailed schedule of events visit

About the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival

The Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is one of the nation’s top celebrations for the bicycle culture, with tens of thousands of cycling enthusiasts, pro athletes and avid recreational riders converging on Minnesota each June. Its professional racing event, 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, Wisconsin and finally culminates in Stillwater. The Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is a volunteer run event, with all proceeds donated to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, the festival’s benefiting charity. For more information visit

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. Visit