2013 Nature Valley Pro Chase Qualifier Races Selected

The Pro Chase, the only race series in the United States offering amateur cyclists trips to the where they will compete against the country’s top men and women professionals, adds new cities for 2013.

The Pro Chase will select the top amateur man and woman at six races to become part of a pair of composite Cycling Teams for the 15th annual edition of the premier on the 2013 .  The qualifying racers all share a common goal:  to earn a pro contract.
Three of the 2012 Pro Chase qualifying racers earned pro contracts following their performance in the .
Riders earning pro contracts for 2013:

  • Lindsay Bayer, Reston, VA:  Colavita/fine Cooking
  • Connor McCutcheon, Bend, OR:  Get Crackin’ U25
  • Brianna Walle, Beaverton, OR:  Optum

“I always enjoy watching the Cycling Team gel as a team.  Even though the riders and coaches are complete strangers at the start of the pre-race camp, by the last stage of the , they’ve become lifelong friends,” Executive Director David LaPorte said. “It’s also very rewarding to give talented riders a shot at going pro.  The Pro Chase program, and the coaching that they get when they’re here, have played major roles in the careers of quite a number of riders who have professional contracts today.”

Rider invitations will be issued following each of the six stops on the Pro Chase national tour: Tour de Murrieta (March 8-10) near San Diego; Independence Valley Road Race (March 30) near Seattle WA.; Jefferson Cup (April 7) near sville, VA.; Tour de Moore (April 27) near Raleigh, N.C.; Sterling Road Race (May 11) near Boston MA.; West Michigan (May 17-19).

In this year’s race series, the Independence Valley Road Race, Sterling Road Race and West Michigan were added to the lineup while the Tour de Murrieta, Jefferson Cup and Tour de Moore are all returning from last year.

West Michigan Director, Brian Bangma is looking forward to seeing his goal of getting this into the Pro Chase come to fruition.

“I considered this a win for the West Michigan as well as for racers across the Midwest.  Being a small part of one of the greatest races in the U.S. and knowing that my event will provide someone the opportunity to go head-to-head with the best in the country is truly an honor,” Bangma said.

Pro Chase qualifiers will earn free entries to the , 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. Their entire journey can be followed through blogs and on-line videos on the Pro Chase website (www.naturevalleyprochase.com), the Facebook page  (www.facebook.com/NatureValleyGrandPrix) and on Twitter (@NVBikeFest).

Snapshot glances at the six Pro Chase events:

Tour de Murrieta (March 8-10), San Diego, CA.: Three unique courses comprise a weekend of racing – Friday’s time trial features a 1.2-mile portion of unpaved/dirt road. Saturday’s criterium is run on a lightning-fast, one-mile course in historic Downtown Murrieta, while Sunday’s circuit race is run on a 3.5-mile course (56 miles for men, 46 miles for women).  Murrieta will be a start city for the 2013 , which will use some of the same roads as the Tour of Murrieta.

Independence Valley Road Race (March 30), Seattle, WA.: New to the Pro Chase calendar, and located midway between Seattle and Portland, this race takes place on a 19-mile loop that features 2 hills each lap that are sure to sap the legs.

Jefferson Cup (April 7), sville, Va.: Nearly two dozen editions make this is the oldest continually run road race in the Mid-Atlantic region. The course for this race winds through rolling countryside south of sville. The race is 70 miles for men and 50 miles for women.

Tour de Moore (April 27), Raleigh, N.C.: The oldest road race in the South (this is the 37th edition) has previously been used as both a Pan American games qualifier and a qualifier for the Quebec Provincial Team. Men will tackle four laps of a 27-mile rolling loop of the Fort Bragg Military Reservation (112 miles) while women do two laps for a 58-mile race.

Sterling Road Race (May 11), Boston, Ma.: Returning the Pro Chase calendar in it’s 19th year, the Sterling Classic Road Race features an 8-mile loop of rolling terrain with a punchy climb to the start/finish each lap.

West Michigan  (May 17-19): The other race new to our calendar this year, the West Michigan is a three with a 7.5 mile Time Trial, a Criterium, and a Road Race on a rolling 30 mile course.  The West Michigan , now entering its third year, boasts a $10,000 prize list. In 2012 racers from all over the country came out for the event, and this year they are expecting an equally impressive turnout of 400 riders.

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