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The Nature Valley Grand Prix, the top race on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar held on June 10 – 14, will air on Universal Sports, the event’s worldwide broadcast partner. Originally slotted for a half hour, the program has been expanded to a full hour because there were far too many compelling storylines to cover in the shorter program. Airings will be:
Saturday, 6/27, 2:00 PM
Sunday, 6/28, 6:00 PM
Tuesday, 6/30, 11:00 AM
Sunday, 7/5, 4:00 PM
Monday, 7/6, 6:00 PM
All Eastern Time
This was three-time defending champion Kristin Armstrong’s last race in the United States before her retirement after the World Championships at the end of September in Mendrisio, Switzerland. With none of her Cervelo Test Team teammates to support her, Armstrong faced the daunting challenge of a stacked peloton that seemed to be on a unified mission to deny Armstrong her fourth consecutive win. She maintained the yellow jersey at the penultimate stage in Mankato, but by only 11 seconds. The race was decided with a dramatic finish in the Stillwater Criterium.
Following the race, Armstrong took the microphone and said an emotional “Farewell” to US racing. After her retirement, she’ll focus her efforts on the Kristin Armstrong Academy, a development program for women under the age of 23.
The men’s race was equally dramatic, with Bissell’s Tom Zirbel taking the lead over Rory Sutherland (OUCH) at the opening time trial. Zirbel, an unlikely challenger at 6’4” and 198 pounds, held the lead through the Mankato Road Race, despite the extreme hill on that race’s finishing circuit. The race was settled at the brutal Stillwater Criterium, where Sutherland’s teammate Floyd Landis played a key role, earning Landis the Freewheel Bike Most Aggressive Rider jersey and setting up a dramatic finish.
The program will also stream from www.UniversalSports.com