Uptown construction screws over pro-bike tournament North Star Grand Prix

Matthew Moses

Matthew Moses

Road construction isn't just messing up your summer commute, it's also shutting down at least one major event.

Event organizers for the Northstar Pro Grand Prix announced recently that the multi-day, multi-city event would not be coming to Minnesota this year due to discovering, at the last minute, that road work would impact the Uptown criterium.

"Recent changes beyond our control forced our team to make this difficult decision," state the release. "A key factor was solidifying course venues including a recent change of location for our St. Paul Criterium and the late notification of a complex road construction schedule in a part of Minneapolis that would have made it impossible to hold the Uptown Criterium, the most popular stage of the event. Relocating the event at this late date was cost and resource prohibitive."

Well, bummer.

The five-day, six-stage event has been a summer sports staple for many years, with professional athletes making their way along Twin Cities roads and trails in a test of endurance, speed, and precision. Revelers are invited to watch, and in many cases people are able to get pretty close to the action.

Races include the bumpy Mississippi track in downtown St. Paul, the terrifyingly tight turns of the Uptown criterium, and Stillwater’s epic Chilkoot Hill, which riders must make their way up multiple times. Outstate races included bucolic rides in Cannon Falls and Mankato that test stamina.

The Grand Prix will return in 2019.