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TRIA Orthopaedic Center Your Cycling Blog

Tradition-Rich Women’s Prestige Cycling Series Returns For Eighth Year

March 1, 2011

Minneapolis — The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series opens team registration for its eighth season as strong as ever, with all four stage races returning from 2010.

The Series is the only national-level cycling competition solely produced for women, by women. Its origin can be traced back to a discussion at the 2003 Women’s Cycling Summit Conference, held at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Since then, more than 30 teams have participated in some of the United States’ top races from coast to coast.

“We set out to create a focused series that women’s teams could build their seasons around,” said Women’s Prestige Cycling Series co-founder Giana Roberge, who will be directing Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 this year. “The National Racing Calendar just had too many events and had became a competition about who had the biggest travel budget. We wanted a series all women’s teams could equally take ownership of while leveling the playing field.”

The Series begins with the Redlands Bicycle Classic in California (March 30-April 3), travels to New Mexico for the SRAM Tour of the Gila (April 27-May 1), continues with the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota (June 15-19) and wraps up with the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic (July 19-24) in Oregon.

Team TIBCO To The Top Manager/Directeur Sportif Lisa Hunt said the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series adds a great deal of prominence and attention to women’s cycling.

“Having a women’s-only series does a great deal to enhance the sport, and get it out a bit from the shadow of the men’s side of the sport,” Hunt said. “I think you can see that effect in the improvement in quality of the racing here in the U.S. Just look at the recent success of U.S. women on the road in some of the biggest races internationally and you can see how the WPCS has contributed to that growth in talent, and in the talent pool.”

All four races are part of USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar (NRC). The Nature Valley Grand Prix has been a part of every Women’s Prestige Cycling Series while the Redlands Classic is in the line-up for the seventh time in eight years. The Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic has been part of the past three Series, while the SRAM Tour of the Gila returns for the second straight year.

The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series is open only to teams, but individual riders can either form a team or join one that will be participating. For more information and rules, visit www.WomenCyclists.com. Deadline for teams to submit their original rosters and be eligible to compete in the Series’ first event is March 29.

Four separate competitions comprise the Series: top overall individual, best young rider, best sprinter and top team. Special jerseys, provided by custom clothing manufacturer Champion System, will identify the leaders in the first three classifications.

Defending champions of the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series are Mara Abbott (top individual and best young rider) and Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 (best team). The late Carla Swart won the best sprinter competition last year.

Additional information for the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series can be obtained by sending an e-mail to wpcs2011@gmail.com.

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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 www.naturevalleybicyclefestival.com.

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 www.NatureValleyBicycleFestival.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. For more information, visit www.naturevalley.com.

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The Race Week Is Upon Us!

June 8, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, cycling enthusiasts and those who just enjoy bikes riding above the speed limit, the week of the Nature Valley Grand Prix is upon us!

Starting Tuesday, we’ll have the stage-by-stage preview, with a map of the route, as well as the current standings and, if applicable, the winner of the previous stage. Keep your browser pointed to the TRIA Orthopaedic Center blog for the most up-to-date results, pictures, information and carnage, because it’s bound to happen!

Remember that it’s not just about the bike! There will be fun for the entire family during the races, so check out the Minnesota Bike Festival website for more information!

Here’s a quick rundown of the races and locations:

Wednesday, June 10th:

STAGE 1: St. Paul Riverfront Time Trial (8:30 am to 12:00 pm)

STAGE 2: Downtown St. Paul Criterium (pro/elite women at 6:00 pm; pro/elite men at 7:40 pm)

Thursday, June 11th:

STAGE 3: Cannon Falls Road Race (5:00 pm men; 5:30 pm women; all racing done at 8:15 pm)

Friday, June 12th:

STAGE 4: Uptown Minneapolis Criterium (women’s pro race at 6:30 pm; men’s pro race at 7:45 pm; all racing done at 8:45 pm)

Saturday, June 13th:

STAGE 5: Mankato Road Race (1:15 pm men start; 1:50 pm women start; all racing done at 5:40 pm)

Sunday, June 14th:


STAGE 6
: Stillwater Criterium (pro/elite women at 12:00 pm; pro/elite men at 1:30 pm; all racing done at 3:00 pm)

We hope the 2009 edition is the best yet. Come see it live!

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