Greg LeMond CEO Ride for Kids, in Minneapolis

The North Star Bicycle Festival presented by North Memorial Health Care and PreferredOne will add several new events this year, providing additional fun for families, new opportunities for amateur cyclists, while drawing attention to their new charity, Special Olympics Minnesota. The Festival includes the Life Time Fitness Hillfest June 13th  and the North Star Grand Prix pro stage bike race, festival with expo area,  June 17-21 in Saint Paul, Cannon Falls, Minneapolis and Stillwater, MN and Menomonie,WI. In Minneapolis, Greg will lead Greg LeMond CEO Ride for Kids, a new addition to the Uptown Criterium.

For maps and event schedules visit www.northstarbicyclefestival.com.

Greg LeMond CEO Ride for Kids

Three-time Tours de France winner Greg LeMond now designs bikes - photo Travis Anderson

Three-time Tours de France winner Greg LeMond now designs bikes – photo Travis Anderson

Three-time Tour de France winner and World Champion Greg LeMond will lead local executives in supporting Special Olympics Minnesota by participating in the Greg LeMond CEO Ride for Kids, a new addition to the Uptown Minneapolis Criterium. The event will take place Friday, June 19 before the men’s race. LeMond and the executives will ride one lap of the race route, accompanied by several Special Olympians. Proceeds from this event will support  the Festival’s programming for children and Special Olympics Minnesota, while building awareness of our new benefiting charity.

A new Kids’ Zone

Sponsored by RBC Wealth Management, will be featured at the Uptown Minneapolis Criterium and the Stillwater Criterium. The Kids’ Zone will consist of stunt rider shows, Kids’ Fun Race, cycling clinics, slalom courses, kid-friendly activities such as contests and face painting and treats. The Uptown stage will feature a bike rodeo that includes figure eight runs, start and stop drills and a “chaos box” where kids practice rules of the road under the guidance of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. Children who are entered in the Kids’ Fun Race and are sporting a bib can participate in cycling activities within the Kids’ Zone. Any child may participate in the non-cycling activities.

Amateur Omnium

2014 North Star Criterium in Uptown Minneapolis.

2014 North Star Criterium in Uptown Minneapolis.

There will be increased opportunities for amateur racing in 2015. An Amateur Criterium Omnium (point-based, multiple short circuit races) will be held for elite men and women at the Saint Paul, Minneapolis, Menomonie and Stillwater stages. There will also be increased opportunities for all levels of amateurs to compete in Menomonie and Stillwater over the weekend. The Amateur Omnium will fill the time slots vacated by the pro women’s race, which has been cancelled due to low registration numbers.

Life Time Fitness Hillfest

2014 North Star Criterium win in Uptown Minneapolis.

2014 North Star Criterium win in Uptown Minneapolis.

The festival is partnering with Life Time Fitness by kicking off the 2015 events with its challenging Hillfest recreational ride out of Prescott, WI on Saturday, June 13. Riders on road bikes, cross bikes and mountain bikes will tackle up to 4,000 ft. of elevation gain on the 100-mile course. Routes of 60-miles and 30-miles are also offered. Those with young children can opt for a 15-mile family course, where kids 12 and under ride free with a registered adult.

Saint Paul Criterium Returns to Lowertown

2014 North Star Criterium St. Paul. photo Stephanie Williams

2014 North Star Criterium St. Paul. photo Stephanie Williams

From 2007-2009 the Downtown Saint Paul Criterium was held in the trendy Lowertown neighborhood. It was moved to the Rice Park area in 2010 to make way for the construction of the Green Line Light Rail, but it was never the same. Crowds were thinner and energy was lower during the Rice Park years. With the Green Line now open, the Downtown Saint Paul Criterium returns to Lowertown, and this event will be better than ever. The Green Line is bringing people to the Union Depot terminus, the Saint Paul Saints are playing in their new CHS Field and many new restaurants and pubs have appeared. Lowertown is a very happening place and we are thrilled to be back.

The Park Dental Tour de Kids p/b Shimano Youth Series

A free Kids Fun Race for children 12 and under, will be held at all North Star Grand Prix locations with the exception of  time trial. The popularity of this event has exploded in recent years and drew 500 children to the Uptown Minneapolis site in 2014. Registration is available at the Park Dental Booth at each stage.

About the North Star Bicycle Festival

Now in its 17 th year, the North Star Bicycle Festival presented by North Memorial Health Care and PreferredOne is celebration of bicycling that includes amateur and professional racing and community events. The North Star Grand Prix has become the premier professional bike race on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, attracting top American and International racing teams from around the world. Spectators can watch the races for free. Proceeds from the festival to go Special Olympics Minnesota. For event schedules visit www.northstarbicyclefestival.com.

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