Nature Valley Grand Prix takes shape

Representatives from the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival announced today that they have chosen St. Paul and Mankato as new locations for the prologue time trial and the first full stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. The Nature Valley Grand Prix, which will take place on June 8-12, is part of USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar. Its national ranking of 2.2 makes it one of the top five stage races for men and top three for women in the country.

The Saint Paul Riverfront Time Trial will be held on June 8 along the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN. The start and finish of the race will be located in downtown Saint Paul near the Science Museum of Minnesota adjacent to the newly opened Upper Landing Park. This event is being produced in partnership with the City's Parks and Recreation Department.

"Bringing a major professional sporting event like the Nature Valley Grand Prix to St. Paul is a coup for our city," said St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly. "Our goal is to make bicycling the favourite pastime of St. Paul, so the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival is a perfect fit."

Mankato, a city of 45,000 with a strong bicycle culture located 75 miles Southwest of Minneapolis, will host the first full stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. The Mankato Road Race will start in downtown Mankato, then travel through five neighbouring cities that have asked to host hot spot sprints. The race will finish on a challenging circuit that passes through the City’s downtown during a community festival.

Other stages of the event will be held in Red Wing, downtown Minneapolis and Stillwater. The Red Wing Road Race will add a finishing circuit this year, allowing spectators to watch the final racing strategies unfold. Each day of the event will also include a full expo with booths, food, entertainment and other family oriented activities.

Proceeds from the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival will benefit programs at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis and St. Paul, the largest children’s health care organization in the upper Midwest.

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