Nature Valley Pro Ride schedule expands

In its second year, the Nature Valley Pro Ride is growing from three to six events. This unique...

In its second year, the Nature Valley Pro Ride is growing from three to six events. This unique program offers elite amateurs a chance to win a trip to the Nature Valley Grand Prix, the top ranked Pro/am race in the country, where they'll race on the Nature Valley Cycling Team. The Nature Valley Grand Prix, which begins June 10 in St. Paul, Minnesota, is the only race among America's biggest races to admit amateurs, giving them a chance to enjoy the full professional racing experience.

Six regional qualifiers have been selected from among the top amateur events across the country. They are listed below.

March 29: Jefferson Cup Road Race, Charlottesville, Virginia
April 4: Hillsboro Roubaix, St. Louis, Missouri
April 25 & 26: Wente Vineyards Road Race & Criterium*, San Francisco, California
May 2 & 3: Glenwood Road Race & Longbranch Classic Road Race*, Seattle, Washington
May 3: San Luis Rey Road Race, San Diego, California
May 10: Bear Mountain Road Race, New York, New York
* Scored as an omnium

Each qualifying race will select one man and one woman who will travel to Minnesota to race as part of the Nature Valley Cycling Team at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Each rider will receive a travel stipend, free entry, housing accommodations, and full team support. They will make public appearances, get pre-race introductions, participate in autograph sessions, and race in front of crowds in excess of 50,000 during this five-day stage race.

At the race, category 1 men and category 2 women will be pursuing the coveted "Top Amateur" jersey. This competition recognizes the accomplishments of "everyday athletes" as they compete against many of the best cyclists in the country, including international riders, and Olympic and World Champions. It is also an opportunity for amateurs to showcase their talents in front of the professional team managers. Since the program was started in 2004, every Top Amateur winner at the Nature Valley Grand Prix has received a pro team contract the following season.

For more information, visit .NatureValleyProRide.com.

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