Nature Valley Grand Prix
8th - 12th June 2005
Once the racing starts, you will be able to click below to go to daily results >
Nature Valley Grand Prix Overview
Nature Valley Grand Prix kicks off this Wednesday, June 8, in Minnesota.
Rated at 2.2, this is one of the top three stage races in the
United States. The women’s fields is
extremely strong, with squads from
teams like Quark, T-Mobile, Webcor Builders, Victory Brewing and Ford
This year’s edition of the Nature Valley GP includes a new time trial in downtown Saint Paul, a new road race in Mankato and a radically redesigned road race in Red Wing. Both road races include hilly finishing circuits that should prove to be even more selective than past courses. Rounding out the schedule are the signature criteriums in downtown Minneapolis and Stillwater.
Riders to Watch
The 2005 field
is the strongest yet for this young race, including World Champion (and
previous race winner), Katie Mactier (T-Mobile),
National Champions Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders) and Tina Pic
(Quark) and Pro Cycling Tour champion Gina Grain (Victory
Lyne Bessette (Can), Quark
Katie Mactier (Aus), Saturn
Laura Van Gilder, Trek Plus
2001 Suzanne Sonya, Saturn
Day 1 - Wednesday 8 June
Riverfront Time Trial
Racing begins in downtown Saint Paul with a new 4.5 mile time trial along the Mississippi River. This is a relatively flat, out-and-back course with a gradual climb as the riders approach the turnaround. Look for the top riders to finish within a few seconds of each other.
Day 2 - Thursday 9 June
The bicycle-crazy city of Mankato hosts the first road race of this year’s Nature Valley GP. The course begins in Mankato and then winds through Blue Earth County, with 80 miles of relatively flat riding in wide-open country where wind could be a major factor. The race goes vertical when the riders return to Mankato, entering a challenging 2.3-mile finishing circuit. This circuit includes Main Street Hill, a stair-stepping 0.6 mile climb that averages 14% and is sure to break up the pack. With 4 circuits for the women and 6 for the men, the Mankato Road Race will establish the riders to beat for the overall title.
Day 3 -
Friday 10 June
Minneapolis Downtown Classic
The Minneapolis Downtown Classic, held in the heart of the entertainment district, is a sprinter’s paradise. This is a flat, fast L-shaped course with a free outdoor concert and a huge crowd at the center. Technical corners and high speeds can favor small breakaways and the leader’s jersey has changed hands here in the past.
Day 4 -
Saturday 11 June
Red Wing Road Race
Despite the rolling countryside of Goodhue County, the Red Wing Road Race ended in a massive field sprint in 2004. Race organizers have toughened up the course for 2005, adding a 3.8-mile finishing circuit that includes a 1-mile climb. Although not as challenging as Main Street Hill in Mankato, this climb should be particularly challenging for riders who haven’t completely recovered from the super fast speeds of the previous evening’s race.
Day 5 -
Sunday 12 June
Dubbed “The Toughest Course in North America”, the Stillwater race is a criterium in name only. This brutal, 1-5 mile circuit features two climbs, including Chilkoot Hill, the climb to the finish that averages 18%. Major chunks of time can be gained or lost in this race, making it the most decisive stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
Event web site: http://www.MinnBikeFest.com
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