This weekend’s Mt. Hamilton Classic Road Race/Memorial Day Criterium in California marks the end of the 2010 Nature Valley Pro Ride qualifiers. The final two riders selected will join the five men and five women who have already qualified.
Sunday’s 63.5-mile point-to-point road race begins in San Jose and climbs 4,500 feet to the top of Mt. Hamilton before finishing in Livermore, Calif. The Memorial Day Criterium is a flat and fast, four-corner affair in the Morgan Hill Business Park.
“It’s been exciting to watch the unfolding of this year’s Nature Valley Pro Ride”, said Nature Valley Grand Prix Director David LaPorte. “From the start – at Hillsboro Roubaix – to the finish in the Bay Area, the Nature Valley Pro Ride has highlighted the best in grassroots racing. The message is clear: bicycle racing is thriving in this country.”
The previous stop of the Nature Valley Pro Ride was the Bear Mountain Spring Classic in Harriman State Park in New York on May 16. Anna Barensfeld of Brookline, Mass. (riding for LadiesFirst Racing), was the female qualifier. The men’s qualifier was Jacob Mueller, who lives in Skippack, Penn., but whose hometown is Fond du Lac, Wis., which is close to the cities where the Nature Valley Grand Prix takes place. Mueller rides for the amateur Kelly Benefit Strategies/Lateral Stress Velo club.
Other women’s qualifiers for the Nature Valley Pro Ride are Sue Butler of Portland, Ore., Nancy Jones of Monroe, Ga., Emily Kachorek of Sacramento, Calif., and Kristen Meshberg of Lyons, Ill.
Previous men’s qualifiers are Zach Garrett of Sumter, S.C., Grandon Gritters of Mission Viejo, Calif., Joseph Schmalz of Lawrence, Kan., and Gabe Varaela of Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.
The 12th annual edition of the Nature Valley Grand Prix will be held in East Central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin, June 16-20. Nature Valley Pro Riders who are invited to compete in the Nature Valley Grand Prix earn free entry to the race, generous travel stipends, team clothing, housing, ground transportation, and staff support for their composite teams. They also receive pro-level recognition before, during and after the events, including pre-race call-ups and participation in promotional and media appearances.