Nature Valley Grand Prix

huge bike race rushes back to downtown Menomonie

Brett Bachman, photos by Leah Dunbar

2010‘s Grand Prix saw more wheels than a ... wheel factory?
2010‘s Grand Prix saw more wheels than a ... wheel factory?

The Nature Valley Grand Prix is a five-day stage race that traditionally takes bicycle racers all over Minnesota, and features some of the top competitors from all over the world. And the really cool part about it? It’s coming back to Menomonie for the second consecutive year. In a single day, the atmosphere overtakes the entire town, and we find that cycling is the coolest thing since sliced bread. On June 18, a multitude of the world’s best male riders will converge upon their 95-mile course, and later in the day the women will attack their own 76-mile race. Both trials culminate in an adrenaline-filled four laps through historic downtown Menomonie. And events for the public abound, the biggest of which is called the Gran Fondo (Italian for “big ride”). This particular event is for cyclists of all ages and abilities, and will take riders along portions of the professional course. A stunt show, plenty of food, kids races, and a health and fitness expo are also featured in this year’s Grand Prix. Even if you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing spandex and a helmet, there’s plenty for you to enjoy. So bring your cheering voice and get ready to be swept up in the “fastest show on two wheels.”

Nature Valley Grand Prix 2011 • June 18 • downtown Menomonie • 11am-5pm • FREE • all ages • NatureValleyBicycleFestival.com