The winners of the elite races at the Jefferson Cup in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Sunday were selected for the 2009 Nature Valley Pro Ride. Adam Farabaugh, (Hershey Cancer Institute-GPOA-Cannondale) and Amity Elliott (JuicePlus) have been invited to the Nature Valley Grand Prix to race on the Nature Valley Cycling Team.
The Nature Valley Pro Ride designation was a major factor in the race. "A lot of the men and women were specifically gunning for the invitation," said Tracy Lea, who managed the selection at the Jefferson Cup. "Most of them were very disappointed to miss the trip and a lot of them were asking me when the next qualifier was being held."
Women's winner Elliott was grateful for her new opportunity. "I know... training for five hours and then after waiting tables for eight hours with a bachelors degree is just plain hard. I am very happy to have had another shot at the spot and get it."
Each rider selected 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 the five-day Nature Valley Grand Prix stage race.
The next stop on the Pro Ride will be the Hillsboro Roubaix near Saint Louis on Saturday, April 4. Other events will be Wente Vineyards Road Race and Criterium in the San Francisco Bay Area (April 25 - 26), the Glenwood and Longbranch Road Races near Seattle (May 2 - 3), the San Luis Rey Road Race near San Diego (May 3) and the Bear Mountain Road Race in New York (May 10).