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Nature Valley Grand Prix adds gran fondo

The Nature Valley Bicycle Festival, which features the Nature Valley Grand Prix NRC stage race, is adding a gran fondo run over the same route as the race's fifth stage on June 18.

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The Nature Valley Bicycle Festival, which features the Nature Valley Grand Prix NRC stage race, is adding a gran fondo run over the same route as the race’s fifth stage on June 18.

Two gran fondo options are being offered: an 85-mile version that follows the route of the men’s stage, and a 65-mile option that follows the women’s route.

The Minnesota festival also is adding several ‘spectator rides,’ which are 15- or 35-mile jaunts timed to get spectators to prime viewing spots to watch the pros race. There is also an 8-mile family ride that will give participants a chance to see the pros as they race through Irvington.

“Every year we strive to educate people about the health benefits of biking as we make the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival a destination. Adding these rides, which benefit Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota, is a win for everyone,” said David LaPorte, the festival’s executive director.