Chicago Amateur Cyclist Qualifies for Nature Valley Pro Chase

Minneapolis-Saint Paul –Chicago, Illinois-based amateur rider, Sarah Rice qualified for a position in the Nature Valley Pro Chase Program after her performance in the Quad Cities Criterium. She will compete against professional racers in the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota and Wisconsin June 12-16, 2013.

Rice’s cycling career began with a rocky start when, finishing her first criterium “scared to death” and swearing she’d never do it again. After completing her Post-Doctoral work in California, she discovered triathlons. After trying out a few criterium races again, however, Rice canceled her triathlon season and never looked back. She lists her 3rd place finish in the Tour of Galena Omnium and 7 podium finishes last season as her greatest cycling achievements.

As an Associate Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Rice describes her work life as a “pressure cooker” that cycling helps to relieve. Following in teammate and Nature Valley Pro Chase alumna, Kristen Meshberg’s footsteps and qualifying for the Nature Valley Grand Prix was not on Rice’s radar, however. “The race starts on my 40th birthday and it was a bit of a pipe dream for me, so when I qualified I couldn’t believe it,” Rice said. While training with other Nature Valley Pro Chase riders, Clark will have the opportunity to work with professional coaches and race against experienced riders. “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,” Executive Race Director David LaPorte said.

About the Pro Chase

The Nature Valley Pro Chase 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.

Rider invitations are 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; Michigan Stage Race (May 17-19) near Grand Rapids, MI.

About the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival

Now in its 15th year, the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is an 11-day celebration of bicycling that includes amateur and professional racing and community events. The Nature Valley Grand Prix is the most prestigious event on the USA Cycling Calendar, attracting top American racing teams and nearly 300 top riders from around the world. Races are free and open to the public. Proceeds from the Nature Valley Grand Prix are donated to Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota, a pediatric hospice project. For a detailed schedule visit www.naturevalleybicyclefestival.com.