Devo Wrap: National Development Program kicks into high gear
(April 7, 2014) — The USA Cycling National Development Program (NDP) kicked into high gear this past week as the various programs contested separate races in Europe. Highlights included several top-10 stage and overall finishes, and a best young rider jersey.
Ronde van Vlaanderen
The six-member U.S. women's team competed in the prestigious Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) in Belgium on April 6. The 139.6-kilometer race included 10 climbs, many of them cobbled sections. Wind combined with a bit of rain made the course even more challenging for the riders.
In the end it was Lauren Komanski (Winston-Salem, N.C./Twenty16 Pro Cycling), riding her first Tour of Flanders, crossing the line as the top National Development Team rider in 24th place, 1:21 behind winner Ellen van Dijk of the Netherlands.
"It was an amazing experience," said Komanski. "This is pretty much the biggest race for bike racing. The crowds were really exciting and we have a great group to race with. I had a great time, suffered a lot, but had a good smile."
Komanski was followed on the USA Cycling squad by Lauren Hall (Dolores, Colo./Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) in 65th place, Alexis Ryan (Ventura, Calif./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women's Team) in 76th and Maura Kinsella (Boulder, Colo./Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) in 80th. Kathryn Donovan (Oxnard, Calif./Twenty16 Pro Cycling) and Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women's Team) also raced for USA Cycling.
Grand Prix de Dottignies
The same squad of riders contested the Grand Prix de Dottignies in Belgium, on Monday. Both Hall and Kinsella finished with the same time as the winner, Georgia Bronzini of Italy, placing 27th and 29th, respectively. American Shelley Olds (Gilroy, Calif.), riding for her Alé-Cipollini trade team, crossed the line in second.
U23 MEN'S ROAD
Les Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux
A group of seven U23 men contested Le Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux in Belgium, April 4-6, and came away with two top-10 stage finishes and a best young rider jersey.
The USA Cycling contingent started the first 177.1-kilometer stage strong as all seven riders finished with the main group. The second stage started with a flat, 10-kilometer time trial where Eamon Lucas (Pebble Beach, Calif./Jamis Hagens Berman) clocked the fifth-fastest time among the 147 riders, just eight seconds behind the top rider.
The second stage concluded with a 95.5-kilometer road race that included four passes of the final hilltop finish. Alexey Vermeulen (Pinckney, Mich./BMC Development Team) made a move on the final ascent and created a gap between himself and the field before being caught in the final meters and finishing 21st.
The third and final stage spanned 163.4 kilometers and once again the USA Cycling riders made their presence felt throughout the race. Three U.S. riders finished in the front group of 33, including Justin Oien (Escondido, Calif./California Giant Cycling) in 10th place, Geoffrey Curran (Tustin, Calif./Bissell Development Cycling) in 22nd and Vermeulen in 28th.
In the final classification, Vermeulen was 14th, 42 seconds behind winner Owian Doull of Great Britain. Curran and Oien completed the race in 16th and 17th position, respectively, both 45 seconds off the winning time, with Curran also claiming the best young rider jersey for the event. Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./Bissell Development Team) ended the race in 43rd place, 1:43 behind Doull, while Taylor Eisenhart (Lehi, Utah/BMC Racing Team) was 7:27 back, Lucas finished 18:26 behind and Miguel Bryon (Miami, Fla./Hincapie Sportswear Development Team) was 22:15 back.
Volta Limburg Classic
A second group of U23 riders raced in the one-day Volta Limburg Classic in the Netherlands on April 5. The race runs over many of the same climbs featured in the Amstel Gold race and consists of a 60-kilometer loop done three times, with a finish lap of 5 kilometers run twice.
The race started out very fast with the average speed of the first two laps at 45 km/hr. A group of 14 riders escaped early and from that group three riders were allowed to go clear and built up a gap of three minutes. A group containing Ryan Eastman (Santa Rosa, Calif./Bissell Development Team), Tanner Putt (Park City, Utah/Bissell Development Team) and Robin Carpenter (Philadelphia, Pa./Hincapie Sportswear Development Team) gave chase but Carpenter suffered a small crash and then was dropped inside of 40 kilometers. After Eastman fell off the pace, Putt was left for the finish and placed 16th in the lead group of 35 that included eventual winner Moreno Hofland of the Netherlands.
"It was an excellent performance by the guys in the biggest race most of them had ever raced," said U23 Team Director Mike Sayers.
BMX DEVELOPMENT CAMP
The first BMX Program Development Camp of 2014 was held May 30-April 6 at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
Camp standouts were Ryan Pettigrew (Watsonville, Calif.), Bubba Gonzales, BJ Ensey (Bella Vista, Calif.) and Kelsey Van Ogle (Auburn, Wash.), who set a new fastest time for the girls development track.
"Overall, a great camp with a talented group of riders," said camp head coach Arielle Martin-Verhaaren. "The talent keeps getting younger and better with each camp I've taught. Looking forward to bringing some of these kids back for future camps to help them develop and make that transition to supercross racing."
"I'm incredibly happy with the direction our devo program is headed under the leadership of Arielle Martin and Jonas Harmon," added USA Cycling Director of BMX Jamie Staff. "I'd like to see the size, funding, and sponsorship partnerships of our program grow over the coming years, increasing the opportunities for young BMX athletes."
USA Cycling National BMX Coach James Herrera echoed those comments.
"It's always great to see our emerging talent," he said. "I'm truly encouraged about the future of our U.S. BMX program."
USA Cycling would like to thank Chase Bicycles and Tioga for their continued support in the Development of our junior riders.
“I wanted to thank you again so much for inviting Austin back to the development camp," said BMX parent Linda Ivanoff in a letter to staffers following the camp. "The training program you all run is top notch. Austin returns from your camps each time even more motivated, determined and committed to BMX supercross. I think it’s great. Thank you again for believing in him.”
Next up for the women's road portion of the USA Cycling National Development Program is the Energiewacht Tour in the Netherlands, which is slated for April 9-13. The U23 riders in USA Cycling's National Development Program will next compete at Circuit des Ardennes International in France, April 11-13, and the Tour of Flanders on April 12. A squad of juniors will contest the Juniors Paris-Roubaix on April 13.
Top: Lauren Kowalski charges up the Kwaremont climb at the Tour of Flanders. (photo by Casey B. Gibson)
Middle: Justin Oien races during stage 1 of Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux. (photo by Casey B. Gibson)
Bottom: Coach Arielle Martin-Verhaaren instructs the campers at the BMX Development Camp. (photo by James Herrera)
MORE ABOUT THE USA CYCLING NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Want to be part of USA Cycling’s Development Program? The first step is getting on USA Cycling’s radar. One of the best ways to do this is by attending a USA Cycling Regional Talent Identification Camp. The primary goal of the Talent ID Camps is to recognize athletes who, at an early age, show signs of potential future success in cycling. Receiving instruction from some of USA Cycling’s finest coaches, the camps also provide the necessary framework to improve the athletes' skill set thus progressing their talent development. In some cases, the Regional Talent ID Camps assist in selecting riders for international competition and/or a national development camp.
This Article Updated April 14, 2014 @ 08:22 AM For more information contact: