The future of the North Star Grand Prix looked bleak until two new major sponsors stepped forward to keep the event afloat for 2015. North Memorial Health Care will partner with PreferredOne to sponsor the 17th Annual North Star Bicycle Festival, which includes the five-day pro stage race that will run from June 17 to June 21.
“We are so grateful to North Memorial Health Care and PreferredOne for stepping up to the plate and saving this important cycling event,” said Festival Director David LaPorte. “The festival has been a crucial part of the Midwest cycling community and USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar for 17 years and it would be a real shame to lose it. Thanks to the generosity of these two companies, fans will be able to enjoy the North Star Bicycle Festival in 2015.”
The penultimate event on the men’s National Racing Calendar (NRC) and the final event for the women, the North Star Grand Prix opens on Wednesday, June 17 with a morning time trial in Saint Paul, Minnesota along East River Parkway before moving to Saint Paul’s Lowertown area that evening for a criterium. The next day, the race heads to Cannon Falls for a rural road stage, with a criterium in Minneapolis to follow on Friday. Saturday’s stage in Menomonie, Wisconsin takes the race through rolling farmland in dairy country before Sunday’s finale, a criterium in Stillwater, Minnesota that will test racers’ legs with the challenging Chilkoot Hill climb.