Nature Valley Bicycle Festival Announces Addition of Quad Cities Criterium to 2013 Pro Chase Schedule

Minneapolis, MN – The Nature Valley Bicycle Festival announced that the Quad Cities Criterium will be added to the Nature Valley Pro Chase Schedule. The Criterium, which takes place in Rock Island, IL on Memorial Day, May 27, will replace the Michigan Stage Race, which has been canceled. This will mark the second year that the Quad Cities Criterium will be part of the "Nature Valley Pro Chase" which selects the top amateur man and woman at six races around the country to become part of a pair of composite Nature Valley Cycling Teams for the 15th annual edition of the most prestigious event on the 2013 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar. The amateur cyclists will earn a trip to the Nature Valley Grand Prix, where they will compete against the country’s top men and women professionals June 12-16, 2013.

”The goal of the Pro Chase program is to emotionally engage the entire cycling community by telling the stories of the participants,” Nature Valley Grand Prix Executive Director David LaPorte said. ”We’re excited to give top amateurs the opportunity to be noticed by pro team managers and potentially receive a pro contract.”

Rider invitations will be issued following each of the six stops on the Nature Valley Pro Chase national tour: Tour de Murrieta (March 9-11) near San Diego; Independence Valley Road Race (March 30) near Seattle; Jefferson Cup (April 7) near Charlottesville, Va.; Tour de Moore (April 27) near Raleigh, N.C.; Sterling Road Race (May 11) near Boston, MA; Quad Cities Criterium (May 27) near Rock Island, IL.

Nature Valley Pro Chase qualifiers will earn free entries to the Nature Valley Grand Prix, generous travel stipends, team clothing, housing, ground transportation, and staff support for their composite teams. They will also receive pro-level recognition before, during and after the events, including pre-race call-ups and participation in promotional and media appearances. Their entire journey can be followed through blogs and on-line videos on the Nature Valley Pro Chase website (www.naturevalleyprochase), the Nature Valley Grand Prix Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NatureValleyGrandPrix) and on Twitter (@NVBikeFest).

About the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival

Now in its 15th year, the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is an eleven-day celebration of bicycling that includes amateur and professional racing and community events. The Nature Valley Grand Prix has become the most prestigious event on the USA Cycling Racing Calendar, attracting top American racing teams and nearly 300 top riders from around the world. Races are free and open to the public. It is the only professional sporting event in Minnesota for which no admission ticket is required. Proceeds from the Nature Valley Grand Prix are donated to Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota, a pediatric hospice project. For a detailed schedule of events visit www.naturevalleybicyclefestival.com.