Nature Valley Grand Prix Gran Fondo

Image by Casey Gibson

The organizers of the Nature Valley Grand Prix put on a really great event.  If you live in the mid-west and want to see professional cycling live and in person, this is you best shot.

In addition to the racing there are lots of events surrounding each day of activity.  This year, they are adding something for those of you who actually want to get onto a bike and ride around.

Two different Gran Fondo routes have been added, and they allow you to ride the same routes that the pros do.  You take off early in the morning on June 18th and after punishing yourself on some pretty big climbs you should be able to get back in time to see some racing.  They also have some shorter spectator rides, but here is the information from their website:

Gran Fondo

From the Italian for ‘big ride,” two rides will be offered as a challenge for fit cyclists of all ages. While these rides are not a race, they will take in the roads that the pros will tackle later in the day. Both Gran Fondo rides depart Menomonie at 7:30 am on Race Day before returning in time for the thrilling finishing circuits of the pro races.

  • 85 Mile Gran Fondo – Follows the same route the professional men will conquer later in the day. This difficult route includes over 3000’ of climbing. Catch your breath after the climbs and recover as you cruise through the communities of Irvington, Eau Galle, Elmwood, Knapp and Boyceville.
  • 65 Mile Gran Fondo – Follows the same route the professional women race through later in the day. This route shares the opening 50 miles of the 85 mile route, then takes a “short-cut”, before returning to Menomonie. This ride is, by no means, an easy ride, but one that offers an opportunity for you to test your strength on a scenic, difficult route that shows off Dunn County’s cycling grandeur.

Registration

The Gran Fondos and Spectator Rides require riders to register and pay a small fee to participate with proceeds going to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, the benefitting charity of the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival.

Gran Fondo Entry Fees

Adults:  $35
Youth:  $15
Register early for lower entry fees. Fees go up on June 1st!
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