Kowalski's Markets Collegiate All-Stars selected for Nature Valley


Six collegiate women will toe the line with experienced professionals as part of the unique Kowalski’s Markets Collegiate All-Stars Team named by the Nature Valley Grand Prix – one of the top professional bike races in America. The amateur bike racers will be brought to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the five-day stage race and receive team support, clothing, travel stipends, mechanics, and lodging from a sponsorship from Kowalski’s Markets.

“I am overwhelmed and excited to be selected as part of the team,” said Jasmine Hansen, West Point Cadet, “I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn from my teammates, coaches, and racing at the Nature Valley Grand Prix.”

Each woman was selected based on her finish at the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, which was held in Ogden, Utah, earlier this month. The six women are:

MIT's Katie Quinn leads the DII peloton into a turn during the recent USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships.
MIT's Katie Quinn leads the DII peloton into a turn during the recent USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships.

· Stephanie Bunnett, Mars Hill College
· Heather Fischer, University of Colorado-Boulder
· Jasmine Hansen, US Military Academy
· Lenore Pipes, Cornell University
· Katie Quinn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
· Sarah Sturm, Fort Lewis College

“These women are not to be underestimated,” said John Barron, director of the Kowalski’s Markets Collegiate All-Stars Team, “they earned their success through team tactics and talent at the top end of the collegiate level. They know how to race.”

“I was ecstatic to learn I made the All-Stars team. I can't wait to race with these amazing women who manage to balance school and racing,” said Lenore Pipes, who was selected to the team after only her first season racing at the college level in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference.

Two professional women racers who came through the Nature Valley Grand Prix collegiate all-stars teams are Erica Allar, the current National Criterium Calendar points leader, and Kristin McGrath, who recently finished 35th at La Fleche Wallonne Feminine in Belgium.

“It’s another part of our ongoing commitment to women’s cycling,” said Nature Valley Grand Prix director David LaPorte, “we offer young women a chance to show their abilities to professional race teams and maybe, just maybe, get a shot at being a pro.”

“I am really excited to be a part of such an amazing team and race along side some truly talented women. This is a life changing opportunity and I can't wait,” said Stephanie Bunnett of Mars Hill College.

About the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival
Now in its 14th year, the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is a 11-day celebration of bicycling that includes amateur and professional racing and community events. The Festival will open on June 7-9 with the Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic at the National Sports Center Velodrome. The marquee event, the Nature Valley Grand Prix, will be held June 13-17. The stage race has become the top event on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, attracting top American and international racing teams and nearly 300 riders from around the world. The Festival is a volunteer-run event with all profits donated to Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota. For more information, visit www.naturevalleybicyclefestival.com.

About the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar
Entering its 16thseason in 2012, the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) is a road cycling series sanctioned by USA Cycling. It is designed to provide a ranking system for all elite-level cyclists, both amateur and professional, through participation in the nation’s premier cycling events. For more information visit www.usacycling.org/nrc.

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This Article Updated May 21, 2012 @ 08:50 AM For more information contact: