Michael Engleman, former professional racer and head of the U.S. Women’s Cycling Development Program, will serve as head coach for the Nature Valley Pro Ride teams in 2011.
Engleman has worked with some of America’s most successful riders, including Kristin Armstrong, Mara Abbott, Amber Neben and Mari Holden. He raced 10 years as a professional for teams such as the U.S. Postal Service and Coors Light. Eight times he was selected to represent the U.S. at the UCI road world championships.
“I am thrilled and honored to be part of the Nature Valley Pro Ride team,” Engleman said. “Nature Valley is providing a solid way for promising new athletes to step forward with their cycling careers or just to live the pro team experience. The fact that each year a few Nature Valley Pro Ride athletes go on to sign pro contracts shows that the innovative Nature Valley Pro Ride idea is a real benefit to the sport.”
The Nature Valley Pro Ride selects top amateur cyclists for men’s and women’s teams that compete against the country’s top professionals at the Nature Valley Grand Prix June 15-19 in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.
Race promoters can still apply to be part of the Nature Valley Pro Ride for 2011. To be considered, a race must be permitted through USA Cycling and take place no later than June 5. Preference will be given to races that take place between March and late-May. More details and a downloadable application can be found at www.naturevalleyproride.com. Deadline to apply is Dec. 1.
Races that become part of the Nature Valley Pro Ride schedule will be promoted by an aggressive marketing and media relations campaign and will receive on-site distribution of Nature Valley Granola Bars from a booth staffed by company representatives. Amateur racers (Category 1 men and Category 1 and 2 women) who qualify at a Nature Valley Pro Ride event receive a “battlefield promotion” that provides them free entry to the race, travel stipends, team clothing, housing, ground transportation, and staff support for their composite team.
The 2011 Nature Valley Pro Ride schedule will be announced Jan. 4, 2011.