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Rising Star, Emily Georgeson, Talks about 2013 NVGP

May 16, 2013

Sports radio 1400 interviews Emily Georgeson. Emily is a young upcoming racer from Wisconsin. She qualified to race in the Nature Valley Grand Prix through the Nature Valley Pro Chase amateur qualifier series. Emily talks about what it will be like to race in front of the home crowd. Also what inspired her to enter racing and her goals as a racer.


Want to hear more Sports Radio 1400?  Check out  the Water Cooler with Jimmie Kaska here!


How to Recover After A Long Bike Ride

June 14, 2012

With the Menomonie Gran Fondo this past Saturday, we thought it would be nice to a deeper look at how you can recover once you are done with a ride like that.

By:  Jane Schwartz Harrison, RD, Nutritionist

Congratulations! You just finished a long and challenging ride. But wait! Don’t abandon your nutrition needs just yet. The right mix of recovery foods will go a long way to helping you feel less sore, less stiff, and less tired in the hours and days that follow. A smart nutrition strategy includes a follow-up plan that will re-feed your glycogen stores and repair muscle tissue. Make sure you follow these five tips for prime recovery:

Timing Counts

The minutes immediately after you’re off the bike (when there is increased blood flow to your muscles) is when your body is most receptive to refueling.

  • Aim to eat within 15 to 30 minutes, and do not wait longer than 45 minutes.This is essential!
  • Then continue to eat at regular intervals for the next 24 hours to keep up replenishment.

Carbs Are Key, Protein Secondary

Carbs are the most important recovery nutrient. They stimulate the release of insulin, a hormone that helps build muscle and restock glycogen stores.

  • Aim for 1 to 1.5 grams of carb per kilogram of body weight in the first 45 minutes. Keep this up for about four hours after the event, or until you eat a larger meal.
  • For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, eat 70 to 100 grams of carbs per hour. One gram of carb has four calories, so that translates to about 300 to 400 calories of carbs as soon as possible after you get off the bike. You can break it up by having something 15 minutes after you stop, and again in another 15 to 30 minutes.
  • For the following 24 hours, your carb intake should be about six to 10 grams per kg of body weight (450-750 grams of carb for a 150 pound person).
  • Adding some protein to your carb can improve your recovery, but don’t overdo the protein (or fat) in the first couple hours, as that can slow the absorption of the carbs.

Smart Recovery Meal Ideas

Here are some meal/snack ideas that contain about 70 to 80 grams of carbs and eight to 15 grams of protein:

  • Large fruit smoothie made with milk or yogurt
  • Peanut butter sandwich and large carton of juice
  • Bagel and yogurt
  • 16 oz 100% juice and two ounces of low-fat cheese
  • Chocolate milk and a one or two granola bars
  • ¼ cup raisins, a large banana, and 16 oz. milk
  • Large baked potato and cottage cheese
  • Recovery drink with mostly carbs and nine to 10 grams of protein

Save higher protein intakes until at least two hours after the event. This could include chicken breast, fish, lean steak, high protein drink, etc.

Replace Fluids and Electrolytes

Replacing fluids lost by sweating is critical in order to prevent dehydration.

  • Your goal will be to drink on schedule during your ride and lose no more than 2 percent of your body weight (three pounds for a 150 pound person).
  • During training, practice weighing yourself before and after to get a sense of how much fluid you lose. For every pound lost, you need to drink 16 oz of fluid.
  • A pound of sweat contains about 90mg of potassium and 400 to 700mg of sodium.
  • As long as your recovery food or drink contains some salt or potassium, you don’t need anything special. One banana has 350 mg. Even foods like a cup of yogurt (520mg), large potato (800mg), cup of OJ (475mg), etc have plenty of potassium.
  • Sodium can also be found in most foods, from bagels and sandwiches to dairy and granola bars – just don’t choose low-sodium foods after the ride and you should be fine!
  • Don’t rely on sports drinks for potassium unless they specifically have it included. Check labels for sodium, as they vary.

With this recovery plan in place, you’ll be ready for another long ride in no time!


Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. J Am Diet Assoc. 2000;100(12):1543-1556.

Hargreaves M, Hawley JA, Jeukendrup A. Pre-exercise carbohydrate and fat ingestion: Effects on metabolism and performance. J Sports Sci. 2004;22(1):31-38.


Up, Up, and Away (Part 2): Conquering the Hills of the Gran Fondo and Elsewhere

May 24, 2012

One of the best things about the Menomonie Gran Fondo is the chance to ride the same course that the pros ride later that day, but this is also the biggest challenge as well.

Here is the second part of USA Cycling coach Fiona Lockhart’s tips to help you conquer the hills that will break up the race later in the day.

by Fiona Lockhart, USA Cycling Coach

If You’ve Got the Gears, Use Them

Once you do have an appropriate gear setup on your bike, make sure you use them!  One of things that makes me want to weep as a coach is when I see someone struggling up a hill, mashing a huge gear at a cadence of about 40, and I look at their gears and see that they have at least one, if not two or three, easier gear options to choose.  Sometimes people will tell me “I want to save them in case I need them.”  Sister or brother, I’m telling you:  you need them.

Once your cadence starts to drop below about 70 rpms, your leg muscles will start to fatigue pretty rapidly, and it’s the kind of fatigue that is hard to recover from.   So it’s in your interest to try to keep that cadence above 70 as much as we can (and 80 or 90 might even be better, depending on the grade of the hill).  This has the additional benefit of taking some pressure off your knee joints, because there’s an awful lot of torque that occurs at the knee when we’re applying a lot of force at a low cadence.  That means using all the gears you have, and practicing shifting in and out of different gears when you are working hard to increase your ability to do it smoothly and prevent the chain from jamming.  Of course, if you don’t have any easier gears to use, then you just have to work with what you have.  But if you find that you are always riding below 70 rpms on hills and you’re always out of gears, then by all means re-read the paragraphs above about cranksets and cassettes and think about making a change.

Pace Yourself

You’re always going to be breathing a little bit harder on the hills (or a lot harder), but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to control the effort somewhat.   I will sometimes see people accelerate at the bottom of the hill, which might be a useful strategy if the hill is very short and you’ll just be able to pop over it quickly, but for most hills that take more than 30 seconds to climb, you’re better off trying to settle into a steady pace and maintain it for the duration of the climb.  If you exert too much energy in the first half of the hill and blow up, you’ll suffer more over that last half than if you had held back a little bit early on.

Once again, use your gears appropriately.  Practice shifting smoothly into the gears you need at the base of the hill.  You will want to have an easy enough gear that you can climb with, but you also don’t want to shift into too easy of a gear too early and lose a bunch of momentum.  Remember, you can always shift during a climb.  It’s a little harder on a hill to make the shift with your front derailleur (as the jumps between gears are bigger), so you usually will want to make sure you are out of your biggest chainring in the front when you start the climb, but then you can use your gears in the back to fine-tune your shifting as you move up the hill.  And plan ahead – thinking in advance about what gear you’d like to be in as you start the climb will help you avoid the mistake of shifting into too big of a gear and using too much energy early, or shifting into too easy of a gear and losing all momentum.

Be Happy

I used to race against a girl who was always smiling when we were climbing big hills.  It would alternatively amaze and infuriate me – “Really, this is making you happy?  COME ON, THIS HURTS A LOT.”  But in retrospect, I think it was a great thing – either she was, indeed, just happy to be hammering up a hill, or it was a very effective psych-out strategy for her competition.  Either way, she wins, figuratively.

But honestly, attitude does matter.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, hills are hard for everyone, but the way you approach the climbing of that hill can make all the difference between having it be a good or a bad experience.  Try putting some positive spin on the next hill you climb:  “These hills are making me strong”.  “The view from the top is going to be awesome.”  “I bet the downhill will be fun!”  Usually, this will make not only the hill but the whole ride a lot more enjoyable than if you are cursing (inside or outside) the whole way up the climb.

Increase Your Fitness

Well, duh.  But it does need to be said.  I started out this blog post by saying that the laws of physics tell us that it takes more energy to move a mass up a hill.  The more fit we are, the more we can comfortably meet those energy demands.  Apart from the things I’ve mentioned above, there isn’t anything magical about training to become faster on hills – the stronger we are, the less energy we’ll need to get up the hills (or the same amount of energy but we’ll go faster).  And how to increase that fitness?  Well, first and foremost, ride as much as you can (within reason).  And get out and train on hills, because they’ll make you work hard, and that hard work will make you strong.  I’ll talk in a later blog post about how to structure that training so that you have a good balance of hard work and rest and recovery.

So yeah, gravity is a law.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t bend the rules a bit.


Up, Up, and Away: Conquering the Hills of the Gran Fondo and Elsewhere

May 17, 2012

One of the best things about the Menomonie Gran Fondo is the chance to ride the same course that the pros ride later that day, but this is also the biggest challenge as well.

USA Cycling coach Fiona Lockhart provides a few tips to help you conquer the hills that will break up the race later in the day.

by Fiona Lockhart, USA Cycling Coach

One of the most common questions I get from cyclists is “Why is riding up hills so hard for me?”  My standard response, which I stole from my colleague and mentor Dean Golich is “Because gravity is a law.”  What I mean by this is that by virtue of the laws of physics, hills are hard for everyone.  Of course, we know that some people seem to scamper up hills pretty easily, while we are grinding away in our granny gear, breathing too hard while seemingly going nowhere fast.   I guarantee you that those mountain goat riders who make the hill climbing look simple are actually working pretty hard too, but they likely have some tricks and tools up their sleeves that help make their work just a little more manageable.   Adopting some of these yourself may help you manage those climbs just a little bit faster and more efficiently.

Lighten Your Load

It’s no secret that it takes less energy to move a smaller weight up a hill than a larger weight.  So, to make hill climbing easier, losing weight off your body or your bike can definitely be useful.  Even a pound or two can make a difference.  Of course, losing bodyweight is not always the easiest thing in the world (and is too big of a topic to cover here), but if you can finagle a way to lose even a few pounds of bodyweight, you’ll almost certainly notice that on a hill.

The other option is to lose weight from your bike.  If you’re riding an entry-level bike from years ago, it might be worthwhile to think about getting a new bike frame.  Frame technology has come a long way over the years, so you may be able to find a much lighter bike than what you currently have within a fairly decent price range.  Of course, you can spend many thousands of dollars on a tricked-out carbon fiber frame that you can hold up with one finger, but you don’t need to do that to get a light bike.  If you don’t want to change out your frame, investing in lighter wheels can make a huge difference as well.  It may be worth a trip into your local bike shop just to see what they have available and what your options are.

One of the easiest things you can do on a given bike ride to keep the weight down is to just mind what you are bringing with you.  Of course, you need to have the things you need to get you through the ride (water and food, tools to fix a flat or other mechanical, and weather-appropriate clothing options), but try to plan ahead so that you have everything you need and nothing more.  If you are loading up a backpack or saddle bag with a bunch of extra stuff that you probably don’t need, know that there will be a price to pay for those things on the hills.

Gears Matter

If you know that much of your riding will be done in the hills, or you have an important cycling event you want to complete that is very hilly, you’ll want to make sure that you have the appropriate gearing for that task.  There is a “standard” crankset, which consists of a 53-tooth and 39-tooth chainring for your front gears (the ones by your pedals).  However, for most people, having either a compact crankset or a triple crankset is enormously helpful in improving one’s ability to get up hills in the most efficient manner.   A compact crankset usually consists of a 50-tooth and 34-tooth chainring. These smaller gears give you the ability to keep a little bit higher cadence on the hills and are easier to pedal with on hills.  A triple crankset consists of 3 different gear options in the front, with something like a 53-tooth, a 39-tooth, and a 30-tooth chainring.   This will give you a lot of gear options for climbing different size hills.

Another option for you is to make sure you have some larger cogs on your rear cassette (that’s the gear system on your rear wheel).  For example, if your largest cog is a 23-tooth, you could get a cassette with a 27- or 29-tooth cog, which translates into easier gear options.

There’s this strange thing that I sometimes hear from riders, that it’s somehow “uncool” to ride anything less than a standard crankset.  To me, that’s just silly.  What seems more uncool is to ride gears that are inappropriate for a particular course or person – I mean, if there are tools available to us to help us ride more comfortably and efficiently (which then usually also transfers into “faster”), why wouldn’t we use them?  Options are cool.

To be continued as Fiona covers efficient use of gearing, pacing and the benefits of a fit attitude…


Training Tips for the Menomonie Gran Fondo & Spectator Rides

May 3, 2012

By Jonas Carney, Performance Director
Optum Pro Cycling Team

A milestone in the life of any avid cyclist is riding in a major event like the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival’s Gran Fondo rides in Menomonie, WI, June 16. While riding 65 or 85 miles in a day may sound extreme to a non-cyclist, you can do it too! Almost any novice cyclist can complete a Gran Fondo ride if they follow a consistent training routine. The key is to start your program early to give your body a chance to respond to the training plan and not wait until the last minute to train. If you are not up to the challenge of a “Big Ride” this year, give yourself a chance to succeed on your own terms by participating in the shorter distance Menomonie Spectator Rides, which are 32 or 15 miles in length!

There are 4 key success factors to have a fun and rewarding Gran Fondo experience:

• The right equipment
• The right training
• The right food
• The right attitude

The right equipment means comfort and functionality. Your bike should fit you well and you should be familiar with it. If you aren’t sure about fit, have your local bike professional provide a fit-assessment. A visit to the local bike shop will also identify any mechanical issues with your bike. Don’t plan to ride a new or a borrowed bike on your first Gran Fondo ride. Consider having a tune-up before the ride, and carry a spare tube and patch kit, tools, a pump and knowledge of how to use them. Other essential equipment includes:

• A helmet that fits appropriately (must be worn to be effective)
• Water bottles and cages
• Energy drink and snacks for the ride
• Cycling clothing, including shoes, shorts, gloves and rain gear
• Sunglasses and sunscreen

The core of your training should be endurance training. If you start your training at least 12 weeks before the ride, you will have ample time to prepare for the Gran Fondo. If you already ride more than five hours a week, you will need far less time to prepare. While most of your rides will be at about 65% of your maximum heart rate (MHR), add two days of interval training, where you push hard for several minutes – up to 85% MHR. Hills are a great way to add interval training to your ride. And don’t forget to allow one day per week for recovery. If you can only ride four to five days a week, don’t do your rest days consecutively. A sample training schedule may look like this:

• Saturday: 1-2 hour ride with 30 minutes of hard effort
• Sunday: 1-2 hour ride at steady pace (65% MHR)
• Monday: Rest
• Tuesday: 1-1.5 hour ride with hills
• Wednesday: Rest or 1-hour easy recovery ride
• Thursday: 1-1.5 hours with interval training
• Friday: Rest or 30-minute easy recovery ride

More Training Tips
• Maintain a cadence of 80 to 100 revolutions per minute
• Increase your mileage as you get closer to the Gran Fondo, no more than 10% at a time.
• Ride with friends, family or your local club to increase your level of comfort riding in larger group.
• Plan a 50- or 60-mile ride at least two weeks before the century to gauge your fitness
• Taper your mileage a week before the century. During that week you may even reduce your riding to one or two days of an easy five to 10-mile spin. Also, try to get plenty of sleep.

In the next blog, I’ll cover Nutrition and Attitude as you approach the day of the Gran Fondo rides. So, stay tuned!

Get out and ride!
Jonas Carney
Performance Director

Optum Pro Cycling Team


Ride WITH the Pros at the Menomonie Gran Fondo

June 3, 2011

Just announced!!

 Team Radioshack rider and wearer of the Giro d’Italia’s white jersey Bjorn Selander, along with Kelly Benefits Strategies-Optum Health Pro Cycling riders Dan Holloway, Tom Soladay, and Colton Barrett will be riding the Menomonie Gran Fondo.

Sign up today for your chance to ride with these pro riders while supporting Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota


Nature Valley Bicycle Festival to Include Fixed Gear Classic June 11-13; Nature Valley Grand Prix Pro Race June 16-20 Expands to Wisconsin

April 22, 2010

Minneapolis-Saint Paul (April 20, 2010) - The Nature Valley Bicycle Festival, the premier event on the USA Cycling calendar, will include the Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic to be held at the National Sports Center (NCS) Velodrome in Blaine June 11-13 and the prestigious Nature Valley Grand Prix pro stage bike race to be held in Saint Paul, Cannon Falls, Minneapolis, Menomonie, Wisconsin and Stillwater June 16-20.

The Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic brings world-class track cycling to the NSC Velodrome. This thrilling event pits professional and elite amateur track cyclists in fast-paced sprint and grueling endurance events. Men and women compete in a series of fast and furious races using fixed gear bikes, which have only one gear and no brakes. Riders only make left turns and control their speed solely by pedaling faster or slower. Achieving speeds up to 40 mph, riders race on a wooden track with 43 degree angles making the races incredibly exciting for both racers and spectators. The Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic is FREE and open to the public. Races take place from June 11-13 beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. Sunday.

Nature Valley Grand Prix Announces New Rice Park and Menomonie Stages

The Nature Valley Grand Prix professional stage race opens June 16 in Saint Paul with a morning time trial and evening criterium held around Rice Park. The new Rice Park location promises to deliver better vantage points for spectators and a more exciting experience for the racers who will loop around the bricked streets in front of the Ordway Center some 40 times. The race will be reminiscent of the famed pave – ancient cobblestone paths – in Europe, creating unique challenges for the racers. Though Saint Paul’s bricked streets may not be as treacherous as the pavé in the famed Paris-Roubaix race, the turrets of the Landmark Center, classic architecture of the 100-year-old Saint Paul Hotel and the elegance of the Ordway Center will create a charming European ambiance for both riders and spectators.

Day 2 of the Nature Valley Grand Prix continues with a road race in Cannon Falls on June 17, while Day 3 takes place in Minneapolis on Friday evening, June 18. For the second consecutive year, the Minneapolis stage will be in the city’s dynamic Uptown neighborhood, where large crowds gathered in 2009, contributing to a 50% increase in overall attendance.

On Saturday, June 19, the racers travel east to Menomonie, Wisc., for the Menomonie Road Race, marking the first time that the Nature Valley Grand Prix includes a stage outside of Minnesota. The hills and valleys of Wisconsin’s dairy land promise to make this stage not only the most beautiful, but also one of the most challenging in the race’s history.

Racers will contest the final stage, the Stillwater Criterium, on Sunday, June 20, with both men and women cyclists completing the short circuit race, which includes a grueling 24 percent grade hill climb up Chilkoot Hill, considered the most difficult in North American cycling.

In addition to professional racing, other activities, including the Wheaties Fan Zone, Fruit by the Foot Stunt Rider shows, 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.

Now in its 12th year, the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is a 10-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 has been named the most bike-friendly in the country by Bicycling Magazine. 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 profits 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. For more information, visit


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.


2010 Nature Valley Grand Prix

March 11, 2010

It’s time to mark your calendars for June 11 through June 20, as the Nature Valley Grand Prix will be rolling through the state of Minnesota with fast and furious bicycle racing. Professional and amateur men and women alike will be racing for the coveted leader’s jersey, which would secure them a spot amongst past winners like Kristen Armstrong, Rory Sutherland, Ben Jacques-Maynes and Robbie Ventura.

This year’s NVGP will have two brand new race routes: the St. Paul Downtown Criterium on June 16th and the Menomenie Road Race on June 19th. New in 2010, the Nature Valley Grand Prix leaves the land of 10,000 lakes to race in scenic Menomonie, Wisconsin.

Bookmark the NVGP website, as well as this blog, for more updates on race courses, participating teams, as well as a calendar of events before, during, and after every race this year!


New Road Race for 2010 Nature Valley Grand Prix

August 13, 2009

Switch in Host Communities Add Hills of Wisconsin to Stage 5 Road Race

Minneapolis (Aug. 13, 2009) – In 2010, the Minnesota Bicycle Festival will become the Midwest Bicycle Festival when it adds a Saturday event in the Wisconsin City of Menomonie. Menomonie will host the Stage 5 road race of the Nature Valley Grand Prix, the top ranked stage race on the 2009 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar. Menomonie, in mostly-rural Dunn County, is just across the Wisconsin border, 60 miles East of Saint Paul.

Although geographically close, it’s a world apart when it comes to terrain. Dunn County is known for its bicycle-friendly roads, with rolling hills and long climbs that will change the math of the entire Nature Valley Grand Prix. The Menomonie Road Race replaces the Mankato Road Race, which had 80 miles of flat, open terrain before finishing with four laps of a final circuit that included the brutal Main Street Hill. The rural route in Mankato was only selective when it was windy, but it’s been calm for the past two years. The move to Menomonie guarantees that the Saturday road race will be selective under any weather conditions.

“The Menomonie Road Race will favor climbers and strong all-arounders”, said Midwest Bicycle Festival executive director David LaPorte. “The teams have been asking for more climbing, and we’ve moved across the border to grant them their wish. This will be a course where significant blocks of time can be made up or lost and will set the stage for the final showdown the next day in Stillwater.”

“This is an excellent move for the Nature Valley Grand Prix”, said Team Type 1 General Manager Tom Schuler, a native of Wisconsin. “I know Menomonie well. It’s the perfect location for a classic road race.”

Dunn County is home to many cycling enthusiasts and has made great strides in developing itself as a destination for bicycle tourism. The Greater Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce has been a leader in that county-wide effort and is the driving force behind the Menomonie Road Race.

“We’re thrilled that the Nature Valley Grand Prix is coming to Menomonie,” said Mark Lewis, avid cyclist and past president of the Chamber of Commerce, who’s heading the local steering committee. “Many Menomonie area residents have been attending the Nature Valley Grand Prix for years and hosting a stage in our home town had been a dream that has finally come true.”

The top women’s stage race in the United States and one of the top men’s races, the Nature Valley Grand Prix’s six stages will include a time trial; three criteriums in the downtowns of Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Stillwater; and road races in Cannon Falls and now, Menomonie.

About the Midwest Bicycle Festival and Nature Valley Grand Prix

The Midwest Bicycle Festival takes place each June, drawing cycling enthusiasts from around the country. Having just completed its 11th annual event on June 10 – 14, 2009, it is one of the nation’s top celebrations of bicycle culture in the country. Its featured event, the Nature Valley Grand Prix, was the premier stage race on the 2009 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar. The 2010 Nature Valley Grand Prix schedule will include stops in Saint Paul, Cannon Falls, Minneapolis, Menomonie, and Stillwater. The Midwest Bicycle Festival is a volunteer-run event, with all proceeds donated to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, the festival’s benefiting charity. More info at

About Nature Valley

Nature Valley, the brand that created the granola bar category in 1975, brings great taste to healthy, active consumers looking for wholesome snacks. Nature Valley comes in a variety of delicious bars, Crunchy Granola, Trail Mix Chewy Granola, Chewy Granola with Yogurt Coating and Sweet & Salty Nut Bars. Visit