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North Star Grand Prix: Stillwater Criterium

June 19
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
free
Festivals, Sports - Spectator
Every summer, North Star Pro Bike Races turn the Twin Cities into a giant race track. Each day offers a new race at a new location with its own unique challenges. Things kick off Wednesday morning with the St. Paul Riverfront Time Trial. Though the views will be pretty, riders will be focused on cycling, as mere minutes could take pro athletes out of the event. Later in the evening, the St. Paul Downtown Criterium will require riders to zoom by Mears Park and Lowertown buildings, occasionally trekking along brick roads. The following day takes participants out to the countryside for the Cannon Falls Road Race. Spectators may want to do a little winery touring or antiquing as cyclists make their way to Red Wing and back. Friday's Uptown Minneapolis Criterium is always a nail-biter, as racers must make six super-tight turns on the .88-kilometer track, looping around multiple times. For the new North Mankato Road Race, riders will take laps through rural scenery before ending on top of a hill on Valerie Lane. Finally, the notorious Stillwater Criterium requires athletes to trek up the perilously steep Chilkoot Hill multiple times. From there, the ultimate winner emerges. For more info, visit www.northstarbicyclefestival.com.