Minnesota’s Nature Valley Grand Prix commences Wednesday

Racing begins Wednesday, June 9, at Minnesota’s Nature Valley GrandPrix, a five-day stage race that serves as the primary component of theGreat River Energy Bicycle Festival, a weeklong celebration of cyclingcomplete with live music shows, stunt riders and a traveling tech expo.Coming off the Wachovia Cycling Week, riders from many top domesticmen’s teams are expected, including Chris Horner of Webcor Builders, 2002NVGP winner John Lieswyn of Health Net-Maxxis, Eric Wohlberg of SierraNevada, Tim Larkin of Ofoto-Lombardi Sports, Robbie Ventura of U.S. Postal-BerryFloor, Marty Nothstein and

By Neal Rogers

Racing begins Wednesday, June 9, at Minnesota’s Nature Valley GrandPrix, a five-day stage race that serves as the primary component of theGreat River Energy Bicycle Festival, a weeklong celebration of cyclingcomplete with live music shows, stunt riders and a traveling tech expo.Coming off the Wachovia Cycling Week, riders from many top domesticmen’s teams are expected, including Chris Horner of Webcor Builders, 2002NVGP winner John Lieswyn of Health Net-Maxxis, Eric Wohlberg of SierraNevada, Tim Larkin of Ofoto-Lombardi Sports, Robbie Ventura of U.S. Postal-BerryFloor, Marty Nothstein and Henk Vogels of Navigators Insurance, Chad Hartleyof Jittery Joe’s, and the revelation of last year’s event, local hero AdamBergman, of Jelly Belly-Aramark. Last year’s winner, Sierra Nevada’s TrentKlasna, was not listed on preliminary start lists.The women’s stage race doubles as the second venue in the Women’s PrestigeCycling Series, with the previously contested Redlands Bicycle Classic,the July 26-August 5 International (Tour de ‘Toona), and the September23-26 CD&P Bermuda Grand Prix rounding out the calendar.Over 100 women are set to roll for Wednesday’s time trial in the townof Virginia, Minnesota, including internationally renowned racers suchas France’s Jeannie-Longo Ciprelli, (racing for the Nature Valley-PennCycles Cycling Team), recently crowned world individual pursuit championSarah Ulmer from New Zealand (guest riding with TDS-Schwalbe High Speed)and Australian Rochelle Gilmore, fresh off a broken collarbone at the worldtrack championships 10 days prior. Gilmore, who rides for the Denmark-basedTeam S.A.T.S., will be guest riding with the domestic Wells Fargo-Ragatzsquad. Last year’s winner, Australian Katie Mactier — who finished secondto Ulmer in the individual pursuit at the recent track worlds — is notlisted on the preliminary start list.Ulmer won the sprinter’s jersey last year while competing with TDS atNature Valley, She also joined Team TDS for the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic,where she earned the leader’s jersey with the team’s assistance.“We’re very fortunate to have a rider of Sarah’s caliber join us forthis event,” said team manager Karl Heidgen. “Her enthusiasm and talentalways motivate the team to do their absolute best.”All signs suggest that the WPCS is attracting more women to participatein the races that comprise the series — the 2004 Redlands Classic alsodrew a record number of women turn out to race. With nearly 20 women’steams competing for the top spots at NVGP, the WPCS rider and team incentives,including an all-expense paid trip to the final event in Bermuda for thetop-10 teams, are clearly working.“There are 50 percent more women registered compared to last year,”said David LaPorte, director of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. “The responsefrom the teams has exceeded our greatest expectations.”The event will feature top domestic teams such as RONA (riding withoutteam leader Geneviève Jeanson), Quark (led by Redlands winner LyneBessette), Genesis Scuba (led by Laura Van Gilder), Webcor Builders (ledby Felicia Greer), Team Basis (headed by Nicole Freedman), Victory Brewing(led by Sandy Espeseth), Colavita Olive Oil (likely racing for Kiwi JoanneKiesanowski), as well as 15 other national and regional teams. Top sprinterswill include Van Gilder, Gina Grain (Victory Brewing), Amy Moore (Quark)and Ulmer. T-Mobile’s Lynn Gaggioli will be racing as well, without thebenefit of her team.“The WPCS is the best example we have that if you involve the women’steams in your race, they will support it,” said LaPorte. In addition toindividual standings, the WPCS has awards for the best young rider, sprinterand the top-10 teams.“We’re particularly excited by the number of regional teams who havesigned up and are now racing nationally,” added LaPorte, who doubles asoverall organizer of the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series. The WPCS wasone of the many outcomes of the first Yoplait Women’s Cycling Summit Conference,which began at last year’s Nature Valley Grand Prix with the second conferenceat Interbike 2003. The Yoplait Summits are designed for team managers,sponsors, USA Cycling and UCI officials, media and riders to come togetherto develop solutions for issues surrounding women’s cycling. The thirdYoplait Women’s Cycling Summit Conference will take place Friday, June11, in Bloomington, Minnesota.The Stages
Stage 1 – Mesabi Trail Time Trial
The 2004 Nature Valley Grand Prix opens on June 9, with a 5.4-miletime trial on the Mesabi Trail. Located in northern Minnesota between GrandRapids and Ely, the Mesabi Trail offers bicycling enthusiasts 66 milesof adventure; when finished the Mesabi Trail will cover 132 miles and connect25 communities. Men will race Thursday morning.Stage 2 – Iron Range Road Race
Racing continues Thursday afternoon with the Iron Range Road Race.Both the women and men will race 80 miles, beginning and ending in thecity of Virginia. The races conclude with multiple laps during the communityfestival.Stage 3 – Minneapolis Downtown Classic Criterium
With two stages behind them, racers travel to downtown Minneapolisfor the Minneapolis Downtown Classic, a high-speed criterium held in conjunctionwith the Minneapolis Downtown Council’s Alive After Five concert.
Women’s Pro/Elite Race: 40 minutes
Men’s Pro/Elite Race: 60 minutesStage 4 – Red Wing Road Race
Stage 4, the Red Wing Road Race, will be a brutal 80-mile trek throughsome of the most beautiful scenery in Minnesota. The race starts and finishesin Bay Point Park.Stage 5 – Stillwater Criterium
Known as the toughest criterium in North America, the Stillwater coursefeatures two steep hill climbs on each lap, as well as heart-stopping downhillturns that will stretch the riders’ bike handling skills to their limits.
Women’s Pro/Elite Race: 50 minutes
Men’s Pro/Elite Race: 70 minutesProvisional start lists
1 John LIESWYN Health Net presented by Maxxis
2 Jason LOKKESMOE Health Net presented by Maxxis
3 Jason MCCARTNEY Health Net presented by Maxxis
4 Scott MONINGER Health Net presented by Maxxis
5 Daniel SCHMATZ Health Net presented by Maxxis
6 Chris WHERRY Health Net presented by Maxxis 11 Justin ENGLAND Webcor Cycling Team
12 Imanol AYESTARAN Webcor Cycling Team
13 Dario FLAQUIER Webcor Cycling Team
14 Benjamin HALDMAN Webcor Cycling Team
15 Chris HORNER Webcor Cycling Team
16 Ted HUANG Webcor Cycling Team
17 John KELLY Webcor Cycling Team
18 Ben STAFFORD Webcor Cycling Team 21 Adam BERGMAN Jelly Belly/Aramark
22 Ben BROOKS Jelly Belly/Aramark
23 Paul ELLIS Jelly Belly/Aramark
24 Ernie LECHUGA Jelly Belly/Aramark
25 Caleb MANION Jelly Belly/Aramark 31 Chris PIC Jittery Joe’s
32 Chad HARTLEY Jittery Joe’s
33 Jesse LAWLER Jittery Joe’s
34 Jake ROSENBARGER Jittery Joe’s
35 Jonny SUNDT Jittery Joe’s 41 Eric WOHLBERG Sierra Nevada
42 Matt DUBBERLEY Sierra Nevada
43 Russell HAMBY Sierra Nevada
44 John HYGELUND Sierra Nevada
45 Ben JACQUES-MAYNES Sierra Nevada
46 Jason KLIKNA Sierra Nevada
47 Glen MITCHELL Sierra Nevada
48 Troy WHITE Sierra Nevada 51 Davide FRATTINI Monex
51 Emile ABRAHAM Monex
51 Josh GOODWIN Monex 61 Marty NOTHSTEIN Navigators
62 Burke SWINDLEHURST Navigators
63 Henk VOGELS Navigators
64 Phil ZAJICEK Navigators 71 Tim LARKIN Ofoto
72 Jason BAUSCH Ofoto
73 Nieko BISKNER Ofoto
74 Jackson STEWART Ofoto 81 Carlos VARGAS Endeavour Cycling
82 Bill JONES Endeavour Cycling
83 Ben LUND Endeavour Cycling
84 Garrett PELTONEN Endeavour Cycling
85 Frank PIPP Endeavour Cycling
86 Nick REISTAD Endeavour Cycling
87 Bryan SMITH Endeavour Cycling 91 Jason WADDELL Sharper Image – Mathis Bros
92 Steven CATE Sharper Image – Mathis Bros
93 Adam HODGES MYERSON Sharper Image – Mathis Bros
94 Michael HOUSE Sharper Image – Mathis Bros
95 Michael LANGE Sharper Image – Mathis Bros
96 Lawrence PERERA Sharper Image – Mathis Bros
97 Aaron SMATHERS Sharper Image – Mathis Bros
98 David WENGER Sharper Image – Mathis Bros 101 Mike TAYLOR McGuire ProCycling
102 Colin BEARDSLEY McGuire ProCycling
103 Roman KILUN McGuire ProCycling
104 Dave MCCOOK McGuire ProCycling
105 Devon VIGUS McGuire ProCycling 111 Jacob ERKER Team Sea Silver
112 Drew DETERS Team Sea Silver
113 Peter KNUDSON Team Sea Silver
114 Daniel RAMSEY Team Sea Silver
115 Matt SADAUCKAS Team Sea Silver
116 Brian SHEDDY Team Sea Silver
117 Neil SHIRLEY Team Sea Silver 121 Peter FAIRBANKS Bianchi/Grand Performance
122 Terry BEENKEN Bianchi/Grand Performance
123 Pete HANNA Bianchi/Grand Performance
124 Bryce MEAD Bianchi/Grand Performance
125 Jeremy SARTAIN Bianchi/Grand Performance
126 Dale SEDGWICK Bianchi/Grand Performance 131 Ben RABY ABD Cycling Team
132 Jim BALDESARE ABD Cycling Team
133 Franklin DIERKING ABD Cycling Team
134 Michale EBERT ABD Cycling Team
135 Ryan NENNIGER ABD Cycling Team
136 John PUFFER ABD Cycling Team
137 John SEMMELHACK ABD Cycling Team
138 Michael YORK ABD Cycling Team 141 Craig WILCOX Ridge Mortgage Services
142 Rusty BEALL Ridge Mortgage Services
143 Evan ELKEN Ridge Mortgage Services
144 Rob RIGG Ridge Mortgage Services
145 Kevin SELKER Ridge Mortgage Services 151 Josh CARTER Long John Silver’s Cycling Team
152 Martin ADAMCZYK Long John Silver’s Cycling Team
153 Brian DZIEWA Long John Silver’s Cycling Team 161 Reid MUMFORD XXX Racing/AthletiCo
162 Zach FIOCCA XXX Racing/AthletiCo
163 Maciej PIKE-BIEGUNSKI XXX Racing/AthletiCo
164 Robert QUINN XXX Racing/AthletiCo
165 Randy WARREN XXX Racing/AthletiCo 171 Jacob STECHMAN Subway – Express
172 Todd CORNELIUS Subway – Express
173 Christian FOSTER Subway – Express
174 Cameron HUGHES Subway – Express
175 Omar KEM Subway – Express
176 Remi MCMANUS Subway – Express
177 David RICHTER Subway – Express
178 Robbie YOST Subway – Express 181 Daniel ARDEN Birchwood/GIS
182 Shawn BRICK Birchwood/GIS
183 Peter MAXWELL Birchwood/GIS 191 Andy BAJOSDALI Liberty Cycles
192 Erik SAUNDERS Liberty Cycles
193 Scott ZWISKANSKI Liberty Cycles 201 Tim MULROONEY MBRC/Flanders
202 Chris DOIG MBRC/Flanders
203 Chris FLOOD MBRC/Flanders
204 Adam FROEMMING MBRC/Flanders
205 David MERCER MBRC/Flanders
206 Andy POWELL MBRC/Flanders
207 Jason SNIDER MBRC/Flanders
208 David ZIMMERMAN MBRC/Flanders 211 Matthew GATES Nature Valley/Penn Cycle
212 Matt HENRY Nature Valley/Penn Cycle
213 Peter HORN Nature Valley/Penn Cycle
214 Brian KOENEMAN Nature Valley/Penn Cycle
215 Andy MINIER Nature Valley/Penn Cycle
216 Ian STANFORD Nature Valley/Penn Cycle
217 Dan  SWANSON Nature Valley/Penn Cycle 221 Aric HARELAND Team Salsa/SuperTeamracing
222 Jake DUFRESNE Team Salsa/SuperTeamracing
223 Fred FEIRN Team Salsa/SuperTeamracing
224 Brandon GAVIC Team Salsa/SuperTeamracing
225 Banning OSTROW Team Salsa/SuperTeamracing
226 Jason TAMMINEN Team Salsa/SuperTeamracing 231 Chris BOLLING Visionquest
232 Ryan CALILUNG Visionquest
233 John HUGHES Visionquest
234 David SACHS Visionquest
235 Stathy TOULOUMIS Visionquest 242 Kevin VANES Bacardi Racing 243 Domenic GATTO Brunswick Cycling Club 244 Gregor MRAZ ClubOne/PMax
245 David PIERCE ClubOne/PMax 246 Joshua TACK
247 Lee VENTEICHER 248 Tone COUGHLIN Duluth Racing/ Cannondale 249 Shane PELTONEN Eclipse Racing 250 Grant DUNSTAN flag velo 252 evan LAWRENCE Hammer Gel 253 Josh CROW HRRC/Mclaren
254 Bill STOLTE HRRC/Mclaren 255 Kevin HANKENS ICCC 256 Christian DAVENPORT Lincoln Plating/Specialized 257 Paul DENINGER Mercy-Specialized
258 John OLNEY Mercy-Specialized 259 Eric PARDYJAK Porcupine/Contender Bicycles 260 Jesse BARTHOLOMEW PowerTap Racing 262 Bryan JOAS Spring Street Sports
263 Mike JOHNSON Spring Street Sports 264 Matthew MOORE Team Bloomington/Bacardi Rum
265 Jason WOODS Team Bloomington/Bacardi Rum 266 Murray CARTER Team Manitoba/Alter Ego 267 Wayne PUCKETT Team Spine 268 Conor HURLEY Trek Doriti/Gellati 269 Alex ROBLES Trek-VW 270 Robbie VENTURA US Postal Service
1 Laura VAN GILDER Genesis Scuba/FFCC
2 Candice BLICKEM Genesis Scuba/FFCC
3 Alexis BROWN Genesis Scuba/FFCC
4 Maggie SHIRLEY Genesis Scuba/FFCC
5 Iona WYNTER Genesis Scuba/FFCC 11 Lyne BESSETTE Quark Cycling Team
12 Megan ELLIOTT Quark Cycling Team
13 Audrey LEMIEUX Quark Cycling Team
14 Sarah UHL Quark Cycling Team 21 Sandy ESPESETH Victory Brewing
22 Johanna BUICK Victory Brewing
23 Nicole DEMARS Victory Brewing
24 Lauren FRANGES Victory Brewing
25 Gina GRAIN Victory Brewing
26 Emma RICKARDS Victory Brewing
27 Kirsten ROBBINS Victory Brewing 31 Katrina GROVE Rona
32 Kathryn CURI Rona
33 Andrea HANNOS Rona
34 Helen KELLY Rona
35 Anna MILKOWSKI Rona
36 Erinne WILLOCK Rona 41 Joanne KIESANOWSKI Colavita Olive Oil presented by Bolla Wines
42 Shannon HUTCHISON Colavita Olive Oil presented by Bolla Wines
43 Ashley KIMMET Colavita Olive Oil presented by Bolla Wines
44 Rebecca MCCLINTOCK Colavita Olive Oil presented by Bolla Wines
45 Brooke O’CONNOR Colavita Olive Oil presented by Bolla Wines
46 Kristy SCHEFFENACKER Colavita Olive Oil presented by Bolla Wines 51 Chrissy RUITER Team Basis
52 Nicole FREEDMAN Team Basis
53 Lauren GAFFNEY Team Basis
54 Jessica HULSER Team Basis
55 Nichole WANGSGARD Team Basis 61 Felicia GREER Webcor Builders Cycling Team
62 Stefanie GRAETER Webcor Builders Cycling Team
63 Cat MALONE Webcor Builders Cycling Team
64 Yukie NAKAMURA Webcor Builders Cycling Team
65 Lisa NORRIS Webcor Builders Cycling Team 71 Erin MIRABELLA Red 5 Racing
72 April ANDERSON Red 5 Racing
73 Michelle BELTRAN Red 5 Racing
74 Nadine BRUHN Red 5 Racing
75 Jennifer EYERMAN Red 5 Racing
76 Jennifer STEVENS Red 5 Racing 81 Anne SAMPLONIUS TDS-Schwalbe
82 Erin CARTER TDS-Schwalbe
83 Shawn HEIDGEN TDS-Schwalbe
84 Meshy HOLT TDS-Schwalbe
85 Megan MONROE TDS-Schwalbe
86 Andrea RATKOVIC TDS-Schwalbe
87 Sarah ULMER TDS-Schwalbe 91 Rebecca BROEDER Wells Fargo/Ragatz
92 Rochelle GILMORE Wells Fargo/Ragatz
93 Melissa SANBORN Wells Fargo/Ragatz 101 Alisha LITTLE ABD Cycling Team
102 Kelly BENJAMIN ABD Cycling Team
103 Kerry COHEN ABD Cycling Team
104 Alison MCNULTY ABD Cycling Team
105 Sarah TILLOTSON ABD Cycling Team 111 Kate SHERWIN Team Kendra Tire
112 Debbie DUST Team Kendra Tire
113 Karen KRAUS Team Kendra Tire
114 Kristen Lee OVER Team Kendra Tire
115 Jennifer PURCELL Team Kendra Tire
116 Miranda QUIGLEY Team Kendra Tire
117 Trudy VAN DER STRAATEN Team Kendra Tire
118 Catherine WALBERG Team Kendra Tire 121 Hiroko SHIMADA Velo Bella
122 Christine VARADAROS Velo Bella
123 Brenna WOLFORD Velo Bella 131 Rachel COUCH America’s Dairyland
132 Anna DIERKING Americas Dairyland
133 Jamie SURGES Americas Dairyland
134 Rebecca ANDERSON Americas Dairyland
136 Rachel EICHERS America’s Dairyland
137 Laurel SUNDBERG America’s Dairyland 141 Krystyna KRAS Bianchi/Grand Performance
142 Liza RACHETTO Bianchi/Grand Performance
143 Kimberly STROM Bianchi/Grand Performance 151 Elisa GAGNON CRCA/Aquafina
152 Sinead FITZGIBBON CRCA/Aquafina
153 Katherine LAMBDEN CRCA/Aquafina
154 Tara PARSONS CRCA/Aquafina 161 Megan ESMONDE Lake Mary Cycles/ORC
162 Holly BOROWKSI Lake Mary Cycles/ORC
163 Mary GEORGETTI Lake Mary Cycles/ORC
164 Michelle KIESANOWSKI Lake Mary Cycles/ORC
165 Kerry SORACI Lake Mary Cycles/ORC 171 Jeannie LONGO Nature Valley/Penn Cycle
172 Sara BROKAW Nature Valley/Penn Cycle
173 Anne GRABOWSKI Nature Valley/Penn Cycle
174 Shana STURLA Nature Valley/Penn Cycle
175 Lee  PENN Nature Valley/Penn Cycle 181 Magen LONG
182 Tracy CUNDIFF
183 Andrea DVORAK
184 Sarah FAULKNER
185 Elizabeth MORSE
186 Jessica PEIL 191 Leah GOLDSTEIN Verizon Wireless Wheelworks
192 Ann Marie MILLER Verizon Wireless Wheelworks
193 Leah TOFFOLON Verizon Wireless Wheelworks 203 Teresa MORIARTY Flanders’ MBRC 204 Barbara HEEB Leitzsport Cycling 205 Lynn GAGGIOLI T-Mobile 206 Rebecca MUCH XXX Racing/AthletiCo 207 Cynthia PIKE-BIEGUNSKI XXX Racing/AthletiCo