Cycling: Friedman, Olds claim titles at Nature Valley Grand Prix

Shelley Olds of Team TIBCO, above, celebrates her victory in the Nature Valley Grand Prix, a cycling stage race which concluded in Stillwater on Sunday. (Contributed photo by Matt Moses)

Shelley Olds of Team TIBCO, above, celebrates her victory in the Nature Valley Grand Prix, a cycling stage race which concluded in Stillwater on Sunday. (Contributed photo by Matt Moses)

Mike Friedman and Shelley Olds captured the overall titles in the men’s and women’s divisions of the Nature Valley Grand Prix that wrapped up on Sunday in Stillwater.

J.J. Haedo of won the Stillwater criterium by two seconds, but with Friedman’s 37-second lead entering the final stage he held onto the top spot for the overall title with a time of 11 hours, 11 minutes and 12 seconds, which was 40 seconds ahead of Andres Diaz and 46 seconds in front of Eric Marcotte.

Michael Friedman of Team Optum won the overall men’s title. Below, riders round the corner to start their 20th and final lap of the Stillwater stage, which included climbs up Chilkoot Hill. (Contributed photo by Matt Moses)

Michael Friedman of Team Optum won the overall men’s title. Below, riders round the corner to start their 20th and final lap of the Stillwater stage, which included climbs up Chilkoot Hill. (Contributed photo by Matt Moses)

In the women’s competition on Sunday, Claudia Hausler and Joanne Kiesanowski finished first and second in the Stillwater stage. Olds finished fifth in the final stage and cruised to the finish for the overall victory after Jade Wilcoxson — who entered the final stage with a one-second lead in the overall standings — crashed while taking the corner prior reaching Chilkoot Hill and did not finish.

The Nature Valley Grand Prix is a five-day, six-stage race that started with time trials in St. Paul on June 12 and included additional stops in Cannon Falls, Minneapolis Menomonie, Wis., and Stillwater for the grueling finale. Races make 13 (women) or 20 (men) laps around a 2.2 kilometer course in the Stillwater stage, which includes Chilkoot Hill and it’s renowned 18 percent average grade.

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