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North Star Grand Prix bike tourney needs $200,000 to return, launches GoFundMe page

Matthew Moses

Matthew Moses

Until last year, Minnesota has hosted the North Star Grand Prix each summer.

The multi-day and multi-location event features a series of races, and competitors include pro men and women cyclists (some are even Olympians!) and teams. Events have typically taken place in downtown St. Paul, Uptown Minneapolis, and Stillwater, where many have crashed and burned climbing brutally steep Chilkoot Hill each lap.

Bike fans were bummed last summer when it was announced that the North Star Grand Prix would need to take a year off, as construction on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown made it impossible to host a crucial leg of the series.

North Star vowed to return, however, and it looks like they are trying to keep that promise.

"The North Star Grand Prix has been a showcase event in Minnesota that was beset by a series of unfortunate actions last year,” says race director Brendon Hale, “All of our volunteers weathered last year’s cancellation and have rededicated their efforts."

The volunteer-run organization plans to host three courses June 14-16 this year. However, they are still seeking a sponsor, and in order to secure their classification as a Union Cycliste International (UCI) Women’s 2.2 Stage Race, they need to come up with $200,000.

Enter the crowdfund campaign. The group will need to raise funds by May 3. The GoFundMe page launched two days ago, and currently stands at $1,000.

"Minnesota has a tremendous cycling community and it is our desire to welcome world class cycling to all Minnesotans," says Hale. "We have received requests from Spanish, Swiss, Canadian and Australian teams to race at this year’s event. There is great interest to race in Minnesota from many of the best cycling teams in the world."

In addition to professional racing, each event also includes amateur races (including the super adorable kids’ races), freebies and sampling from sports vendors, beer gardens, and other fun.