by Chuck Grothaus
Scott Giles and Alexis Zink have both earned spots in the Nature Valley Pro Chase Program after performing well in the Jefferson Cup Road Race Charlottesville, VA. Both racers will compete among professionals at the Nature Valley Grand Prix, here in Minnesota and Wisconsin, June 12-16, 2013.
The racers charted different paths to the top of the sport, with Zink rising from beginning racer to Category 1 in less than a year and Giles navigating a 10-year journey with the Navy on the way to his Category 1 elite amateur status. Both riders maintain their commitment to training, despite rigorous work schedules. Zink, the rowing coach at Washington, D.C.’s prestigious Sidwell Friends School, guides the futures of America’s next generation of leaders. Giles trades the cockpit of a Navy jet for time in the saddle as often as possible.
Giles follows his wife, 2011 Nature Valley Pro Chase alumna Kathleen Giles and teammate, 2012 alum Pete Custer to the Nature Valley Grand Prix. “I am honored to follow in Katy and Pete’s footsteps. I look forward to carrying on our team’s tradition.” Zink, despite nerves at the Jefferson Cup qualifier notes, “It’s an awesome feeling to qualify for the Nature Valley Grand Prix.” Both riders now turn their attention to the goal of standing out among top professionals. “The Nature Valley 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,” Executive Race Director David LaPorte said.
About the Pro Chase
The Nature Valley Pro Chase selects the top amateur man and woman at six races around the country to become part of a pair of composite Nature Valley Cycling Teams for the 15th annual edition of the most prestigious event on the 2013 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar.
Rider invitations are issued following each of the six stops on the Nature Valley Pro Chase national tour: Tour de Murrieta (March 9-11) near San Diego; Independence Valley Road Race (March 30) near Seattle; Jefferson Cup (April 7) near Charlottesville, Va.; Tour de Moore (April 27) near Raleigh, N.C.; Sterling Road Race (May 11) near Boston, MA; Michigan Stage Race (May 17-19) near Grand Rapids, MI.
About the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival
Now in its 15th year, the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is an 11-day celebration of bicycling that includes amateur and professional racing and community events. The Nature Valley Grand Prix is the most prestigious event on the USA Cycling Calendar, attracting top American racing teams and nearly 300 top riders from around the world. Races are free and open to the public. Proceeds from the Nature Valley Grand Prix are donated to Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota, a pediatric hospice project. For a detailed schedule visit www.naturevalleybicyclefestival.com.
About Nature Valley
Nature Valley, the brand that created the granola bar category in 1975, brings variety to healthy, active consumers looking for wholesome and great-tasting snacks. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Nature Valley is part of General Mills, a leading global manufacturer and marketer of consumer foods products.