North Star Grand Prix cancels women's race

Organisers of the North Star Gand Prix confirmed today that they have cancelled the women's race at this year's National Racing Calendar event. In an email to Cyclingnews, race director David LaPorte said only 17 riders had registered for the five-day race, which was scheduled for June 17-21. LaPorte said the men's race will go on as planned.

"We felt that it would have been a disservice to women's racing to go ahead with such a tiny field," LaPorte said.

The race has struggled with sponsorship since losing long-time title sponsor Nature Valley in 2014. The race went on as the North Star Grand Prix last year, and the organisers announced earlier this spring that they had secured sponsorship for this year's event with just enough time to keep the race afloat.

The loss of the women's race means the NRC will be down to just six events for the women. Next up is the Winston-Salem Classic on May 31 following this weekend's national championships. The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, a UCI World Cup race for the women, is scheduled for June 7 and will be the final NRC event for the women this year.

Carmen Small won last year's North Star Grand Prix while riding for Specialized-Lululemon. Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare) and Leah Kirchmann (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) were second and third, respectively.

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Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.