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Nature Valley Grand Prix to Air on Universal Sports

June 24, 2009

Top ranked stage race featured dramatic finishes in men’s and women’s races

The Nature Valley Grand Prix, the top race on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar held on June 10 – 14, will air on Universal Sports, the event’s worldwide broadcast partner. Originally slotted for a half hour, the program has been expanded to a full hour because there were far too many compelling story lines to cover in the shorter program. Airings will be:

Saturday, 6/27, 2:00 PM
Sunday, 6/28, 6:00 PM
Tuesday, 6/30, 11:00 AM
Sunday, 7/5, 4:00 PM
Monday, 7/6, 6:00 PM

(All Eastern Time)

This was three-time defending champion Kristin Armstrong’s last race in the United States before her retirement after the World Championships at the end of September in Mendrisio, Switzerland. With none of her Cervelo Test Team teammates to support her, Armstrong faced the daunting challenge of a stacked peloton that seemed to be on a unified mission to deny Armstrong her fourth consecutive win. She maintained the yellow jersey at the penultimate stage in Mankato, but by only 11 seconds. The race was decided with a dramatic finish in the Stillwater Criterium.

Following the race, Armstrong took the microphone and said an emotional “Farewell” to US racing. After her retirement, she’ll focus her efforts on the Kristin Armstrong Academy, a development program for women under the age of 23.

The men’s race was equally dramatic, with Bissell’s Tom Zirbel taking the lead over Rory Sutherland (OUCH) at the opening time trial. Zirbel, an unlikely challenger at 6’4” and 198 pounds, held the lead through the Mankato Road Race, despite the extreme hill on that race’s finishing circuit. The race was settled at the brutal Stillwater Criterium, where Sutherland’s teammate Floyd Landis played a key role, earning Landis the Freewheel Bike Most Aggressive Rider jersey and setting up a dramatic finish.

The program will also stream from

About the Minnesota Bicycle Festival & Nature Valley Grand Prix

The Minnesota Bicycle Festival is one of the nation’s top celebrations of 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. Ranked as the premier stage race on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, the 2009 Nature Valley Grand Prix included stops in Saint Paul, Cannon Falls, Minneapolis, Mankato and Stillwater. The Minnesota Bicycle Festival is a volunteer run event, with all proceeds donated to Children’s Hospital’s 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 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

About Universal Sports

Universal Sports, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, serves as the preeminent multiplatform destination for Olympic-related and lifestyle sports programming available on television and online. Universal Sports is a 24-hour television channel available in 45 million television households in markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Reno and Omaha. Major world championship and Olympic qualifying events found on Universal Sports range from track and field, skiing, swimming, gymnastics, marathons and cycling, to volleyball, rowing, triathlon, fencing, speed skating and martial arts. delivers an immersive experience via live and on-demand competition coverage, interaction with top athletes through blogs and in-depth access to Olympic sports news and information year round. For more information on the availability of the Universal Sports 24-hour television channel, please visit