-- It was a successful week of racing in the U.S. for Felt-sponsored riders at the June 13-17 Nature Valley Grand Prix.
Between the Exergy men’s team
and the Exergy 2012 women’s team
, riders took several stage wins and a GC podium.
The five-day Nature Valley Grand Prix stage race, part of USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar
, was held throughout central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Theresa Cliff-Ryan
(pictured) led the Exergy 2012 team, sprinting to wins
in the St. Paul Downtown Criterium (Stage 2)
and the Uptown Minneapolis Criterium (Stage 4).
Cliff-Ryan credited her teammates with perfect execution in Stage 2, a 64km criterium on a technical course in St. Paul, Minnesota. With three laps to go, her teammate Kristin McGrath
went to the front to lift the pace. On the final lap, Heather Logan
led Cliff-Ryan out, and the team sprinter dashed to victory on her Felt F1
“The team raced really well tonight,” Cliff-Ryan said afterward. “I was very happy to pull of the final sprint after a perfect lead-out.”
After the following day’s race was cancelled due to stormy weather, Cliff-Ryan repeated the win two days later in Minneapolis. Again the race finished with a bunch sprint and again Cliff-Ryan had the perfect lead-out for the win.
In men’s racing, Carlos Alzate
of Team Exergy won Stage 2
in a sprint. His teammate and fellow Colombian Andres Diaz
had his eye on the overall. Diaz made the winning break in the decisive Stage 5 Menomonie Road Race, putting himself in podium position. He moved up to third in GC
and held that standing over the final day to take third overall.