Tuesday, June 23, 2015

North Star Grand Prix 2015

Despite some tribulations this year's edition of the annual NRC bike race went off with unusually good weather and lots of fans. Unfortunately, there were no elite ladies, with one exception, competing. A combination of scheduling circumstances led to a dearth of entries in the elite women's competition and cancellation of the race that has been won by international stars in the past. Carmen Small, a national and international champion, elected to compete in the elite men's division and the women's races were replaced with an amateur omnium competition in the Uptown, Menomonie and Stillwater criteriums that drew many of the better riders in the Midwest.

  Fabrizio Von Nacher of KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo crosses the finish line first at the grueling Stillwater Criterium.
Carmen Small warms up with former teammate Jesse Anthony before the St. Paul Criterium.
Local phenom Colin Catlin was third in the amateur omnium and winner of the Greg Lemond best young rider jersey.

Mountain bike hall of famer and veteran road and cyclocross rider Steve Tilford waits at the start line in Stillwater. Tilford won second in the omnium. Behind him is Jameson Ribbens, winner of the Stillwater amateur race.

Freddie Rodriquez, four time US National Road Racing Champion, has announced that this is his last year of pro racing. Fast Freddie relaxes moments after completing the Stillwater Crit.

Ben Hill, Fabrizio Von Nacher, and Kevin Girkins break away from the field at Stillwater.

It takes a lot of volunteer effort to put together the North Star Bike Festival. Two of the most dedicated are race director Paul Merwin and promoter David LaPorte, whose tireless efforts throughout the year create the premier cycling event in the Upper Midwest.

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