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U.S. Scene this Week: Dairyland, Harlem, Nature Valley and Nez

Zwizanski held on to the yellow jersey, and took the lead when he needed to.
Kelly's Zwizanski leads NVGP after two stages.

The U.S. peloton is focused largely on two events this week — the Nature Valley Grand Prix and Canada’s Tour de Beauce.

Also on tap for this week are the “mighty” Tour de Nez and the Tour of America’s Dairyland, which each open Thursday evening in Reno, Nevada and Shorewood, Wisconsin, respectively. And the weekend wraps up with the Nevada City Classic crit and the Harlem Cycling Classic. (VeloNews will carry free, live video coverage of the race — a first for velonews.com. Check the homepage at 4pm EST)

Nature Valley Grand Prix– Minnesota/Wisconsin

June 16-20

The tenth anniversary Nature Valley Grand Prix got underway Wednesday with a double day. Alison Starnes (TIBCO) and Scott Zwizanski (Kelly Benefit Strategies) took the opening time trials — run this year on mass start-legal road equipment. Chloe Hosking (HTC-Columbia) and Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis) won the second-stage criterium. Starnes and Zwizanski retained their GC leads after the crit.

Stage 1: Wednesday June 16
Saint Paul Riverfront Time Trial – 6 miles (men and women)
Saint Paul, Minn.
Stage winners: Alison Starnes, Scott Zwizanski

Stage 2: Wednesday June 17
Downtown Saint Paul Criterium – 28 laps (women) / 40 laps (men)
Saint Paul, Minn.
Stage winners: Chloe Hosking; Hilton Clarke

Stage 3: Thursday, June 18 5:00 p.m. (men) / 5:30 p.m. (women)
Cannon Falls Road Race – 65 miles (men and women)
Cannon Falls, Minn.

Stage 4: Friday, June 19 6:16 p.m. (women) / 7:45 p.m. (men)
Minneapolis Uptown Criterium – 30 laps (women) / 40 laps (men)
Minneapolis, Minn.

Stage 5: Saturday June 19 12:00 p.m. (men) / 1:30 p.m. (women)
Menomonie Road Race – 95 miles (men) / 76 miles (women)
Menomonie, Wisc.

Stage 6: Sunday June 20 12:00 p.m. (women) / 1:30 p.m. (men)
Stillwater Criterium – 13 laps (women) / 20 laps (men)
Stillwater, Minn.

Tour de Nez Reno, Nevada

June 17-19

2009 Tour de Nez criterium
2009 Tour de Nez Truckee criterium

The Tour de Nez is a celebration of all things bikes and the wacky fun and hard racing attracts a solid list of pros this weekend that aren’t at Nature Valley or Beauce. The three-day omnium features a prologue time trial Thursday with circuit races Friday and Saturday. Each stage is scored equally, with the top 30 finishers in each receiving points (50, 45 and 41 for the top 3).

2009 overall winners Chad Gerlach and Amber Rais (Webcor Builders) will be in Reno Thursday night as the race kicks off with a 1.5-mile prologue through Victoria Square. Andrew Bajadali and Neil Shirley (Kelly Benefit Strategies) will each be there as well, while Paul Mach (Bissell) is the likely favorite in the opener. Rais will face off against last year’s stage 2 winner Katerina Nash (Luna) and a four-rider squad from TIBCO-To The Top: Samantha Schneider, Kristen LaSasso, Devon Haskell and Megan Gaunier.

Tour de Nez
Day 1: Thursday June 17 5:00 p.m.
Sparks Prologue – 1.5 miles (men and women)
Reno, Nev.

Day 2: Friday June 18 5:30 p.m. (women) / 7:30 p.m. (men)
Mighty Tour de Nez Twilight Circuit – 50 min (women) / 60 min (men)
Reno, Nev.

Day 3: Saturday June 19 3:00 p.m. (women) / 5:30 p.m. (men)
Northstar at Tahoe Village Circuit – 60 min (women) / 90 min (men)
Tahoe Village, Calif.

Tour of America’s Dairyland/Giro d’Grafton – Wisconsin

June 17-27

The Tour of America’s Dairyland debuted in 2009 and is back again for a run through the Upper Midwest over the next 11 days. Mostly a series of crits — think SuperWeek, a month earlier and a little bit shorter — the tour is an omnium that includes iconic Wisconsin races like the Downer Avenue criterium (June 26) and a hot track around the Road America auto race course (June 21).

The tour competes in its second week with the U.S. elite/women’s national championships in Oregon, which may cut down on attendance, but organizers were not concerned with that potential in early June.

In 2009, Chad Hartley resurrected his career with an overall win, landing himself a contract with Kenda-GEARGRINDER this season. Matthew Busche also jumped onto the radar in the day one Blue Mounds road race, before joining Kelly Benefit Strategies and now Team Radioshack.

On the women’s side, Devon Haskell finished second overall and landed a contract at TIBCO, while Theresa Cliff-Ryan impressed with a third overall and joined Colavita-Baci in the offseason.

Tour of America’s Dairyland
Day 1: Thursday June 17 5:00 p.m. (women) / 6:30 p.m. (men)
Shorewood Criterium – 60 min (women) / 90 min (men)
Shorewood, Wisc.

Day 2: Friday June 18 3:00 p.m. (women) / 6:00 p.m. (men)
Fiddleheads Coffee Criterium – 60 min (women) / 90 min (men)
Thiensville, Wisc.

Day 3: Saturday June 19 3:00 p.m. (women) / 6:00 p.m. (men)
Giro d’ Grafton *USA Crits – 60 min (women) / 90 min (men)
Grafton, Wisc.

Day 4: Sunday June 20 3:00 p.m. (women) / 6:00 p.m. (men)
Appleton Criterium – 60 min (women) / 90 min (men)
Appleton, Wisc.

Day 5: Monday June 21 10:40 a.m. (women) / 1:30 p.m. (men)
Road America Road Race – 48 miles (women) / 72 miles (men)
Elkhart Lake, Wisc.

Day 6: Tuesday June 22 3:00 p.m. (women) / 6:00 p.m. (men)
Sheboygan Harbor Centre Bike Race – 60 min (women) / 90 min (men)
Sheboygan, Wisc.

Day 7: Wednesday June 23 3:00 p.m. (women) / 6:00 p.m. (men)
Trek Waterloo Classic – 60 min (women) / 90 min (men)
Waterloo, Wisc.

Day 8: Thursday June 24 12:00 p.m. (men) / 12:20 p.m. (women)
Greenbush Road Race – 80 miles (men) / 60 miles (women)
Greenbush, Wisc.

Day 9: Friday June 25 3:00 p.m. (women) / 6:00 p.m. (men)
Fond du Lac Cycling Grand Prix – 60 min (women) / 90 min (men)
Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Day 10: Saturday June 25 3:30 p.m. (women) / 7:00 p.m. (men)
ISCorp Downer Classic – 60 min (women) / 90 min (men)
Milwaukee, Wisc.

Day 11: June 27 3:00 p.m. (women) / 6:00 p.m. (men)
Carl Zach Cycling Classic – 60 min (women) / 90 min (men)
Waukesha, Wisc.

Skyscraper Harlem Cycling Classic – Harlem, New York

June 20 4:00pm (women) / 5:00pm (men)
60 min (women) / 90 min (men)

Barlevav edged Bahati in Harlem in 2008
Barlevav edged Bahati in Harlem in 2008

The women’s open race will have all that MC Biz Markie needs to get the 37th annual Harlem Classic moving at 3:00 p.m. Saturday in New York City. The event, sponsored for a second year by Rockstar Games, will take place on a square, four-corner course and feature a slew of track stars, including Walter Perez (GS Mengoni USA) and four-time world champion Franco Marvulli. Earlier in the day, the event will be part of the worldwide Olympic Day celebration at 12:00 p.m.

For the first time, VeloNews.com will carry free, live video coverage of the event. Tune into velonews.com Sunday at 4:00 p.m. EST for the start of the action. In fact, tell your friends to tune in as well — and let us know what you think.

Nevada City Classic – Nevada City, Calif.

2009 Nevada City winner Lance Armstrong
2009 Nevada City winner Lance Armstrong

June 20 3:00 p.m. (women) / 5:05 p.m. (men)
60 min (women) / 90 min (men)

The Nevada City Classic is back for the 50th time Sunday and while the event will lack the world class field that it enjoyed in 2009, many of the riders from the Tour de Nez will head west for the tough crit.

The technical, 1.1-mile loop through the small town on the west side of the Sierras is challenging — 120 vertical feet of climbing per lap and a full-speed descent to the start/finish. Mach, Nash and Burke Swindlehurst (teamgive.org-BlackBottoms) headline the early start list, though with such rich history, pros come out of the woodwork for the classic. The men will face a 90-minute test on the loop, while the women will roll for 60 minutes.

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