USA Cycling introduces BMX Development Program with Camp Following the success of its various junior and U23 programs across other disciplines of competitive cycling, USA Cycling is expanding its efforts to develop America’s extensive pipeline of Bicycle Mo
Following the success of its various junior and U23 programs across other disciplines of competitive cycling, USA Cycling is expanding its efforts to develop America’s extensive pipeline of Bicycle Motocross (BMX) athletes. With a focus on the future, the national governing body announced today plans to roll out a national BMX junior development program in 2009.
“Throughout the course of the last two years, our primary attention was focused towards preparing our elite athletes for the Olympic Games and providing them with all of the resources necessary to succeed in Beijing,” remarked Mike King, director of BMX programs for USA Cycling. “But now that the Games are behind us, it’s imperative that we begin focusing more intently on developing up-and-coming athletes. We have an extremely deep talent pool here in America with more kids racing BMX compared to any other county. Now we need to encourage them to think on an international level and prepare them for the opportunity to compete at the sport’s highest level.”
One of the main goals for USA Cycling’s BMX junior development program is to bridge the gap between traditional BMX racing and the “Supercross” style – a bigger, faster and more technically demanding style of racing utilized at major international events such as World Cups and Olympic Games. As youngsters ready themselves to step into the international racing scene, they must prepare to tackle the 40-foot jumps and 26-foot start ramps that are commonplace in Supercross racing.
“We want to make sure these kids are well prepared for the transition to Supercross,” continued King, “which is why we’re initially focusing on 15- and 16-year-old athletes. As they complete our program and move into the UCI junior elite racing class, we want them to be confident and capable of racing on a Supercross track and ready to make some noise on the international circuit.”
The first immediate initiative of USA Cycling’s BMX junior development program is a testing and instructional camp set for Feb. 1-6 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. – home of the only permanent Supercross-style BMX facility in North America. Next week’s camp will welcome 17 junior men and women who were invited by USA Cycling coaches based on several factors, including past results and future potential. The camp’s agenda will feature training sessions on a replica of the Olympic track in Beijing, instructional clinics on nutrition, weight training and sports psychology, baseline physiological testing and a Q&A session with Olympic silver medalist and former resident athlete Mike Day.
The February camp is one of four that are tentatively scheduled for 2009.
Complementing the guidance of King, several other coaches will provide direction and instruction to camp attendees. U.S. Challenge Class team manager Brian Fell, along with certified USA Cycling coaches and BMX experts Jerry Bradford and Jeff Glynn, will serve as volunteer coaches at the February camp.
While the overall goal of the USA Cycling BMX junior development program is to educate, inspire and prepare young athletes from a mental and physical standpoint for the rigors of international competition, King expects the graduates to leave the camp with a new perspective on what it means to be a world-class athlete.
“No athlete is made in a week, a month, or a year, but it’s my hope that getting kids into this facility and providing them with all of the tools necessary to succeed at their chosen sport will put them on the right track,” explained King. “After a tremendously successful Olympic Games last year, it’s already time to begin improving upon that benchmark for 2012, 2016 and beyond. This program is the first step in ensuring that the U.S. remains one of the top nations in the sport of BMX racing for a long time.”
Attendees for the first USA Cycling BMX junior development camp in Chula Vista include:
Jazmyne Harvey (Buena Park, Calif.)
Shelby Stacy (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Tiffany Bontorno (Georgetown, Mass.)
Audrey Zuloaga (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Taylor Wolcott (Roseville, Calif.)
Brooke Crain (Visalia, Calif.)
Tyler Schaefer (San Diego, Calif.)
Meghan Matthews (Menteca, Calif.)
Rusty Nesvig (San Diego, Calif.)
Anthony DeRosa (Toms River, N.J.)
Nathan Padilla (Lakewood, Calif.)
Austin (A.J.) Hiatt (Fresno, Calif.)
Austin Loebe (Dover, Del.)
Jordan Ryan (Springfield, Ill.)
Justin Posey (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Justin Riddell (Cape Coral, Fla.)
Bryan Kipp (Parrish, Fla.)
About USA Cycling
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization and sanctioning body, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ members, including 57,000 competitive cyclists, 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 350 professional cyclists, and 200 certified mechanics. USA Cycling also sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive organized cycling events throughout the United States annually, as well as 1,800 clubs and teams. Associations of USA Cycling include the United States Cycling Federation (road, track & cyclo-cross), the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), the BMX Association, the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the United States Professional Racing Organization. USA Cycling is also responsible for the identification, development, support and promotion of American cyclists through various athletic initiatives and programs including the USA Cycling National Development Team, the USA Cycling Women’s National Team, the USA Cycling Junior Development Team, Talent Identification and Regional Development Camps, domestic and international race calendars, direct athlete funding and support programs, and educational camps and seminars. USA Cycling also fields and supports U.S. National Teams for various international events, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games, Continental Championship and World Cups across all levels and disciplines of competitive cycling. USA cycling further supports grass roots and locally-based initiatives through its 32 Local Associations and comprehensive network of licensed and certified coaches and officials. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts National Championship events for amateur and professional cyclists, awarding more than 600 national titles annually to men and women in junior, U23, masters, elite, professional and paralympic categories throughout the various disciplines of competitive cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org. For media-related or general inquiries, please contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867 or firstname.lastname@example.org.