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Fiber One Is New Sponsor Of Collegiate All-Star Team At Nature Valley Grand Prix

May 7, 2010

Minneapolis (May 7, 2010) – Fiber One, a General Mills brand, is the new title sponsor of the Collegiate All-Star Team for the Nature Valley Grand Prix that is being selected at this week’s USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships.

The six collegiate racers who earn spots on the composite team will wear their school jerseys but compete as the “Fiber One Collegiate All-Stars,” wearing team shorts at the Nature Valley Grand Prix in June.

The USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships are taking place today through Sunday in Madison, Wis. Eligibility for the special squad is based on the final individual overall (omnium) standings for female riders who are not members of a team that is already registered to compete in the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Each team member receives complimentary entry into the Nature Valley Grand Prix, free host housing, a support staff comprised of a team manager, mechanic, soigneur and massage therapist, team clothing and a travel stipend.

“The Fiber One Collegiate All Stars is one of the coolest programs that we have,” Nature Valley Grand Prix Director David LaPorte said. “Collegiate cycling is growing by leaps and bounds. This is a chance to showcase that part of the sport. It also help us connect the sport with people since the program resonates with the alumni of the schools that the riders represent and even with the alumni of those schools’ arch rivals.”

“I’m really excited to have Fiber One on board as a title sponsor”, said Fiber One Collegiate All-Stars Manager John Barron. “Cycling is a lifetime sport and Fiber One’s healthy lifestyles message is an excellent fit.”

Past Fiber One Collegiate All-Stars team members are a Who’s Who of young up-and-coming talent in the professional ranks, including: Kristin McGrath (Fort Lewis College) and Sinead Miller (Marian University), now both racing for the Peanut Butter and Co–Twenty12 team, Amanda Miller (Colorado State), now competing for Team TIBCO, and Erica Allar (Penn State) and Carla Swart (Lees McRae College), both now racing for Team Vera Bradley Foundation.

The 2010 edition of the Nature Valley Grand Prix will be run in East Central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin from June 16-20.

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Amanda Miller’s Ryan Collegiate All-Star Experience

April 29, 2010

Amanda Miller raced for the 2008 Ryan Collegiate All-Star team in the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Since then, she has procured a professional contract on a top-flight cycling team and has even raced across the pond, strengthening her legs and learning the ways of true professional cycling. She reflects back on what the Ryan Collegiate and Nature Valley Grand Prix experiences meant to her and her career:

In 2008, I was given the opportunity to race with the Ryan Collegiate All-Star team at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. The 2008 season was my first year racing collegiate. I heard about this composite team coming into nationals and made it one of my season goals to make it on the squad. My collegiate racing experience in 2008 taught me the basics of racing with a team. At Colorado State University, we had great mentors and teammates to support us.

Nature Valley Grand Prix was my first “pro” level stage race of my career. Was I nervous? Of course! Our team director, John Barron, was amazing though. The team was run as a professional squad on a very low stress basis. All we had to do as riders was race our bicycles. The team even had their own mechanic and soigneur. Prior to the start of each stage we had a team meeting. This is where John gave us the team plan for the day. It was really exciting to have a game plan and specific jobs for the day.

The Ryan Collegiate All Star team was a great stepping stone for me to take in my cycling career. Prior to the experience, I was just a local collegiate racer. In 2009, I was presented with a contract by the LipSmacker Professional women’s cycling team. I also spent a month in France racing for the U.S. National Development team. Now I am racing for the only women’s UCI team in the United States, Team TIBCO/To the Top. I don’t think I would have been able to progress as quickly as I did without the help of the Ryan Collegiate All-Star team. Not only did it provide me with experience, but it also gave me a level of confidence and motivation. After the experience, I felt that I actually did belong in the women’s professional peloton and that it was something I wanted to pursue as a career.

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