Like most Minnesotans, I've been in vitamin D deficit lately, so it was a pleasure to ride to the pretty St. Croix River town of Stillwater on this sunny Sunday to watch the final stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix race. The Stillwater criterium, featuring the super-steep Chilkoot Hill, is billed as "the toughest criterium in North America," but Kristin Armstrong made it look like taking candy from a baby.
Armstrong crushed the women's field, riding alone way off the front of the pack almost from the gun.
The men's race, on the other hand, was a nail-biter, with 20-year-old Quebecois sensation David Veilleux taking it on the line from overall race winner Rory Sutherland.
More photos on the flip...
One of the groups chasing Armstrong hits the steepest part of the climb
Yeah, it's steep
Armstrong had plenty of time to wave to the crowd before taking the stage win
Joanne Kiesanowski, in the orange spriter's jersey, wins the sprint for third
With four laps to go, the men's field was still spread out
Rory Sutherland in the race-leader's yellow jersey
With one lap to go, the men's field was coming together
I don't know who this guy is, but if there had been an audience-choice award, he definitely would have won it. On each of the last two laps, he did a sustained wheelie over the steepest part of the climb
David Veilleux puts his head down and goes for it in the final sprint for the line
Kristin Armstrong takes the most aggressive rider jersey
and the climber's jersey
and the race winner's jersey
Hey, that's not Kristin! Joanne Kiesanowski takes the spriter's jersey
Nick Reistad. Dude, the sports beans on that climber's jersey so clash with the all-fruit assortment on your team kit!
Stage winner, best young rider, and winner of the cutest smile competition, David Veilleux
Sprint jersey winner Kirk O'Bee
Rory Sutherland takes the overall win