Update: The race is postponed to May 8.
Rich in history, the Jefferson Cup road race Sunday in Charlottesville, Va., is the next chance for amateur cyclists to secure a coveted spot on the Nature Valley Pro Ride team for the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
Named for Thomas Jefferson – whose Monicello home is located only a few miles from the race course – the Jefferson Cup is the oldest continually-running road race in the Mid-Atlantic region. Staged on a 10-mile circuit that winds through rolling countryside south of Charlottesville, it offers a challenging 77-mile race for men and 50 miles for women.
“The Nature Valley Pro Ride will add another degree of drama to this area’s first big race of the season,” Jefferson Cup promoter Ruth Stornetta said. “Surviving the rolling course and reading the team strategies involved is great preparation for the riders who win the selection.”
The top amateur in the Men’s Pro/Category 1 race and the winner of the Women’s Open category from the 21st edition of the race will compete on the composite Nature Valley Cycling Team in the Nature Valley Grand Prix, which takes place on June 15-19 in East Central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.
The Jefferson Cup has traditionally been run in bad weather, which adds to the grueling aspects of the course. It is one of two single-day races this year on the Nature Valley Pro Ride calendar.
“While there are no mountains, the big climb comes around each time with several short steep risers in between, giving no place to rest before the long false flat drag race to the finish,” Stornetta said.
Nature Valley Pro Riders who are invited to compete in the Nature Valley Grand Prix earn free entries to the race, 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.