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Nature Valley Grand Prix To Air On CBS Sports Network
 
By Imelda March
Date: 8/12/2013
Nature Valley Grand Prix To Air On CBS Sports Network
 
The daily excitement and thrilling conclusion to this year's Nature Valley Grand Prix will be chronicled on CBS Sports Network’s “Sports Spectacular” program. The event will be televised on:

* Thursday, August 15 – 8:00 PM ET
* Friday, August 16 – 3:00 PM ET
* Saturday, August 17 – 4:00 PM ET

Please visit CBS Sports Network to find the channel in your area.

Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies came to the race with the goal of repeating last year’s feat of winning both the men’s and women’s races in their title sponsor’s home town. This would prove easier said than done.


Shelley Olds of Team Tibco celebrates her general classification win at the Stillwater Criterium. (Photo Credit: Matthew Moses)

The Nature Valley Grand Prix women’s race was an epic battle between veteran Shelley Olds (TIBCO / To the Top) and second-year pro Jade Wilcoxson (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies), who broke into the pro ranks after riding for the Nature Valley Pro Chase composite team in 2011. Defending champion Carmen Small, who had transferred from Optum to ride for Specialized lululemon, took the yellow jersey in the prologue time trial, but lost it to Wilcoxson at the Downtown Saint Paul Criterium due to time bonus sprints that evening. Subsequent stages saw Olds gradually gaining on Wilcoxson, coming into the final stage in Stillwater a mere 1 second down. Tune in to see the unexpected and thrilling conclusion of the battle for the yellow jersey.


J.J. Haedo (Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home) wins the Minneapolis Uptown Criterium during the 2013 Nature Valley Grand Prix. (Photo Credit: Stephanie Williams)

In the men’s race, Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly) took the yellow jersey in the prologue and defended it during the Downtown Saint Paul Criterium. However, stage 3, the Cannon Falls Road Race, would prove decisive, with a lead group of 10 and only 28 total riders making it onto the finishing circuits. The rest were given assigned times. The yellow jersey was taken by an unlikely rider from Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies, 30-year old, Michael Friedman, owner of multiple US Track Championships, but no major stage races in this country. He’d be wearing a target on his back until the last day in Stillwater.

Highlights of the men’s race were stage wins by legendry Argentinian sprinter J.J. Haedo (Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home), who rode for WorldTour teams Saxo Bank for the past four years and CSC two years before that. Wins at the flat Saint Paul and Minneapolis Criteriums were no surprise, but he had his hands full in Stillwater, where the finish was at the top of the 24% grade Chilkoot Hill that the riders had completed 20 times over the course of an hour.

"Even for fans who attended the races in person or followed the live streams on the internet, this program is a chance to put all of the pieces together," Nature Valley Grand Prix Executive Director David LaPorte said. "For everyone else, this is an opportunity for them to see some of the best professional cycling in the United States showcased in an hour-long broadcast."

About the Nature Valley Grand Prix Now in its 15th year, the Nature Valley Grand Prix, was held June 12-16. The stage race has become one of the most prestigious events on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, attracting top American and international racing teams and riders from around the world. The Grand Prix is a volunteer-run event with all profits donated to Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota. For more information, visit mNVGP.

About the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar Entering its 17thseason in 2013, the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) is a road cycling series sanctioned by USA Cycling. It is designed to provide a ranking system for all elite-level cyclists, both amateur and professional, through participation in the nation’s premier cycling events. Learn more by visiting USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC).

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