Friday, May 30, 2008

Fixed Gear Classic Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Erin Peterson, 952-278-3114, 651-247-4023

Sonya Saatzer, 952-278-3109, 763-443-2030

Participants and Race Format Announced for 2008

MN Fixed Gear Classic

Minneapolis (May 21, 2008) --- The MN Fixed Gear Classic velodrome races will be held Saturday, June 7 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and Sunday, June 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn.

Premier track cyclists from around the world will be participating in this two-day event, competing for a purse of nearly $5,000. The MN Fixed Gear Classic is a prelude to the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival and the Nature Valley Grand Prix, held June 11-15 in various cities across central Minnesota.

To date, an international field of elite and professional cyclists are confirmed to compete in the MN Fixed Gear Classic including riders from Argentina, Canada, Italy and all over the US. The field is one of the most decorated groups ever to compete at the NSC Velodrome and includes World Junior, Elite and Masters Champions, Pan-American Games Medalists, Olympic team members and numerous National Champions. The highlight of the field will be the legendary Roberto Chiappa, 41-time Italian National Champion, former World Champion and member of the Italian Olympic Team. Local heroes, Brian Crosby and Taylor Olson, will test their strength against the world’s best track cyclists.

Fourteen styles of individual and team racing will take place at the velodrome, providing a unique spectator experience. Race styles include time trials, sprint races and distance or scratch races. Sprint races such as the Chariot race are mad dashes for the finish line. Strong legs and high-speed pedaling make the difference in these events. Other races award points to racers that cross the finish line first, second or third in designated “sprint laps” throughout the race.

Most events will be scored as part of an omnium (points totaled for the races each participant completes) for the two-day event. The person with the most points wins the overall event. Cash prizes will be awarded for points accumulated during the MN Fixed Gear Classic. This “Best Overall Rider” competition recognizes the racer with the best combination of speed and endurance.

The Hoigaard’s Tour de Kid’s Cycling Clinic, will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday, June 7 and will feature fun activities and provide kids the option of test riding the velodrome on special kid-sized track bikes. The Hoigaard’s Kids Bicycling Clinic is free and open to kids ages 12 and under. Helmets and a waiver signed by a parent are required. Participation in the clinic requires pre-registration at www.hoigaards.com.

The National Sports Center will also be the destination for the MS150 a huge, two-day recreational ride with more than 3,500 participants arriving upon completion of the MS150 ride on Sunday, June 8.

The MN Fixed Gear Classic and the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival featuring the Nature Valley Grand Prix are free and open to the public. They are the only professional sporting events in Minnesota for which no ticket is required.

Note: Events and schedules are subject to change. Rain date is scheduled for the evening of Monday, June 9.

More about velodrome racing:

Velodrome racing features world class cyclists racing at speeds of up to 40 mph. Bikes used in fixed-gear track races have only one gear and do not have brakes, making the races fast and exciting for both spectators and riders. The excitement, speed of the racers around gravity-defying turns and the close proximity of riders often results in some spectacular displays of bike handling skill.

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About the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival and Nature Valley Grand Prix

The Great River Energy Bicycle Festival, now in its 10th year, is one of the nation’s top celebrations of the bicycle culture, with tens of thousands of cycling enthusiasts, pro athletes and avid recreational riders converging in Minnesota each June. The MN Fixed Gear Classic held at the National Sports Center Velodrome in Blaine, Minn., is a prelude to the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival. The Festival’s professional road racing event, the Nature Valley Grand Prix, began as a one-day criterium in Saint Paul in 1999. Ranked as the premier stage race on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, the 2008 Nature Valley Grand Prix schedule includes stops in Saint Paul, Cannon Falls, Minneapolis, Mankato, and Stillwater. The Great River Energy Bicycle Festival is a volunteer-run event, with all proceeds donated to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, the festival’s benefiting charity. For more information, visit: www.minnbikefestival.com.

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