Marvulli, Van Bon headline Fixed Gear Classic

Nature Valley Bicycle Festival begins tonight

The three-day Fixed Gear Classic kicks off the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival tonight, with Olympic medalists Franco Marvulli and Leon Van Bon starring on the Blaine, Minnesota velodrome.

Marvulli, silver medalist in the 2004 Olympic Madison in Athens, and Van Bon, who earned the silver medal in the 1992 Olympic points race in Barcelona, will compete against 40 other world class racers this weekend. The event incorporates more than 100 sprint, endurance and timed events.

"Besides the sprint and endurance omniums, we've got some exciting new events this year," said Jason Lardy, Marketing Director for the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival, "for example, on the third day of the event, we'll run a Madison kilometer time trial, which will carry its own prizes."

In addition to Marvulli, a former world champion in the Madison and Scratch Race, and Van Bon, winner of stages in the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, the field will also include Canadian points race champion Jean-Michel Lachance, Trinidad & Tobago champion Emile Abraham and multi-time US champion Cari Higgins.

"We'll again feature a unique dual omnium program that showcases separate competitions for sprinters and endurance riders," Lardy said. "That means crossover races will bring sprinters and endurance riders together to try to win omnium points or at least take them away from their competitors."

The National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota, will host live streaming video the Fixed Gear Classic. Racing begins at 6:30 CDT (UTC -5) on Thursday, June 7, 2012 and Friday, June 8, 2012. Racing begins at noon Saturday, June 9, 2012.

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