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Natural Grocers® Grant Subsidizes Women's Entry Fees for Annual Jesse Blancarte Time Trial in Gardner, Kansas: June 16, 2024


LAKEWOOD, Colo., May 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Natural Grocers Cycling (with the support of their title sponsor, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage ®) is proud to support women's bike racing at the 2024 edition of the Jesse Blancarte Memorial 10k Time Trial on June 16, 2024, in Gardner, Kansas.

This longtime Kansas City area tradition is a USA Cycling-sanctioned event sponsored by The Blue River Bicycle Club. The event began in the mid-1990's, using the old Missouri 210 Highway along the Missouri River east of I-435 towards Richmond. The race was renamed in Blancarte's memory after his death in 2002 and eventually moved to its current location at the New Century Air Center.

A time trial is a unique discipline in the cycling world. Riders start one minute apart on a designated course and race against the clock in a variety of USA Cycling specified categories based on skill, age, aero or non-aero equipment and gender. While the event regularly attracts the area's top cycling talent, it also boasts a beginner and youth-friendly atmosphere. Time trials are especially attractive to those who wish to compete but are not as comfortable in a large rider pack found in events like road races and criteriums. First-year Race Director, Shawn Beeton stated, "This event has become a staple in the local [Kansas] racing community. There are not a lot of road races right now and the racers look forward to coming out and showing what they can do."

The Blue River Bicycle Club continues its partnership with sponsors such as Shawnee Mission Audi, Elite Cycling KC and Natural Grocers Cycling. Through a grant provided by Natural Grocers Cycling (via their title sponsor, Natural Grocers, the family-operated natural and organic grocery retailer) the race will offer low-cost racing opportunities for women. The grant was provided directly to the promoter to subsidize women's entry fees (bringing the cost down to only $5).

"Natural Grocers Cycling has a simple mission: grow the communities in which we operate, support our sponsors as brand ambassadors and promote a healthy, active lifestyle on two wheels. We accomplish this by providing financial support to events, connecting local Natural Grocers stores to the cycling community and lowering the barriers for women by subsidizing entry fees," said Dan Messina, Managing Partner for Natural Grocers Cycling. "We invite folks to come cheer for the racers on June 26 —the first rider is off at 9 AM. Or better yet, join in the fun by signing up to race or volunteer. We hope to see you there!"

Spectators and participants can look for the Natural Grocers' branded feather flag to find Natural Grocers Cycling under their signature purple tent. Club members will have fresh fruit to sample[I] — provided by the Natural Grocers Overland Park store, additional team sponsor samples to share, plus unlimited high-fives.

Founded in 1955, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE: NGVC) is an expanding specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries, body care products, and dietary supplements. The products sold by Natural Grocers must meet strict quality guidelines and may not contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners, or partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils. The Company sells only USDA-certified organic produce and exclusively pasture-raised, non-confinement dairy products, and free-range eggs. Natural Grocers' flexible smaller-store format allows it to offer affordable prices in a shopper-friendly, clean, and convenient retail environment. The Company also provides extensive free science-based Nutrition Education programs to help customers and Crew make informed health and nutrition choices. Natural Grocers is committed to its 5 Founding Principles —including its "Commitment to Community" and "Commitment to Crew". In fiscal year 2023, the Company invested $15 million in incremental compensation and discretionary payments for Crew. Headquartered in the Union Square neighborhood of Lakewood, CO, Natural Grocers has 168 stores in 21 states. Visit www.naturalgrocers.com for more information and store locations.

Natural Grocers Cycling has been a living, pedaling extension of the Company's founding principles since 1987. The squad has a broad range of riders, encompassing all disciplines of cycling. With over 100 members, you'll spot these riders on the trails, the roads, volunteering at events and, of course, at Natural Grocers stores all around the country to support healthy living on and off the bike. Natural Grocers Cycling is interested in growing the cycling communities in which they operate. They have chapters in Denver, Grand Junction, Durango, Tucson, and Kansas City and are also growing in Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, and West Virginia. Visit www.naturalgrocerscycling.com for more information.

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SOURCE Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc.