North Star Grand Prix confirms UCI 2.2 women's stage race in 2019

Organisers of the North Star Grand Prix announced Monday that its women's stage race will return as a UCI-sanctioned 2.2 event held from June 12-16 in Minnesota. The organizers have partnered with USA Cycling to align the event with the future growth and development of women's cycling in the US.

"USA Cycling is striving to be the number one women's cycling nation in the world by winning the medal count for women at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," said Scott Schnitzspahn, USA Cycling Vice President of Elite Athletics, in a press release.

"Having events like the North Star Grand Prix become UCI sanctioned will help our riders prepare to meet these goals by providing them the opportunity to compete against the best athletes in the world."

Organisers will also host a men's stage race that will be part of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour (PRT). The organization anticipates hosting many national champions and Olympians at the 2019 event, according to a press release.

The event started in 1999 and ran as the Nature Valley Grand Prix through 2013, when it was renamed North Star after Nature Valley dropped its sponsorship. The race was cancelled last year but organisers vowed to return.

Emma White (Rally UHC Cycling) won the women's race in 2017. "It's exciting to see the North Star Grand Prix provide the women's peloton a showcase event in Minnesota," she said.

"The timing of this is the perfect opportunity to highlight the growth in women's cycling and to attract top competitors to Minnesota in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics."

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