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The Nature Valley Pro Chase opens today at the three-day Tour de Murrieta in California. The Pro Chase series, which includes six events in 2013, will decide the riders to compete with a race-sponsored composite team at June’s Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota.
Velo’s Domestic Breakthrough Rider of the Year in 2012, Jade Wilcoxson (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies), is among the riders to ascend to the professional ranks through the program.
Organizers will extend an invitation to the top amateur finishers at the six qualifier events. Team members will receive a travel stipend, team clothing, housing, ground transportation and staff support for the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
“I always enjoy watching the Nature Valley Cycling Team gel as a team. Even though the riders and coaches are complete strangers at the start of the pre-race camp, by the last stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix, they’ve become lifelong friends,” said Nature Valley Grand Prix director David LaPorte. “It’s also very rewarding to give talented riders a shot at going pro. The Nature Valley Pro Chase program, and the coaching that they get when they’re here, have played major roles in the careers of quite a number of riders who have professional contracts today.”
2013 Nature Valley Pro Chase:
Tour de Murrieta: March 8-10, near San Diego
Independence Valley Road Race: March 30, near Seattle
Jefferson Cup: April 7, near Charlottesville, Virginia
Tour de Moore: April 27, near Raleigh, North Carolina
Sterling Road Race: May 11, near Boston
West Michigan Stage Race: May 17-19, near Grand Rapids, Michigan