Organizers of the Nature Valley Grand Prix announced the addition of a Friday evening Uptown Criterium to this year's event, a five-day stage race expected to draw 300 professional cyclists to Minnesota. For the new stage in the Minneapolis Uptown neighborhood, pro teams will race around Calhoun Square on a course that comprises six tight corners.
"This is fantastic news for the city of Minneapolis and our booming Uptown District," said Minneapolis Council Member Ralph Remington ,who represents the Uptown neighborhood. "The Nature Valley Grand Prix brings tens of thousands of tourists, sports fans and bicycle enthusiasts onto the streets of the Twin Cities every year. We're thrilled to be a big part of that - and it's fun to go head to head with the Saint Paul Downtown Criterium." Remington is referring to another stage in the race, the criterium held in nearby Lowerton.
The 11th edition of the race, the top-ranked stage race on USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar (NRC), will run in the Twin Cities from June 10 to 14. The other stages will visit Cannon Falls, Mankata and Stillwater.
Last year's event was won by Olympic Champion Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo-Lifeforce) and Australian Rory Sutherland (HealthNet).