David Laporte, promoter of the Nature Valley Grand Prix, announced that this Spring’s Bear Mtn race, on May 10, will be one of six qualifying races for positions on the Nature Valley Cycling Team for this years race.

The Nature Valley Grand Prix, held throughout Minnesota from June 10-14, is one of the most prestigious NRC stage races.

David Laporte’s press release on this years’ Nature Valley Grand Prix Pro Ride

MINNEAPOLIS – February 23, 2009 – The Nature Valley Pro Ride has announced its 2009 schedule, growing from three to six events in its second year. 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, Minn., is the only race among the USA Grand Tours to admit amateurs and serves as an amateur’s chance to have a full professional racing experience.

Six regional qualifiers have been selected from among the top amateur events across the country:

Date Event Name Nearest Metro Area
March 29 Jefferson Cup Road Race Charlottesville, VA
April 4 Hillsboro Roubaix St. Louis, MO
Ap 25 & 26 * Wente Vineyards Road Race & Criterium San Francisco, CA
May 2 & 3 * Glenwood Road Race & Longbranch Classic Road Race Seattle, WA
May 3 San Luis Rey Road Race San Diego, CA
May 10 Bear Mountain Road Race New York, NY
* 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 on June 10 – 14. 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. This program provides riders with a full professional experience and is only available to the Nature Valley Pro Ride winners.

At the Nature Valley Grand Prix, Category 1 men and Category 2 women will be pursuing the coveted Nature Valley Top Amateur jersey. This special 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. This is also a unique 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.

Visit the Nature Valley ProRide website for more information.

Registration for Bear Mtn will open on March 23 on www.bikereg.com.