About USA Cycling's National Development Programs
The USA Cycling National Development Program was created in 1999 by USA Cycling, the governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States, as a means of providing young American cyclists with all the tools necessary to excel at their chosen sport. Over the last decade over 3,000 young cyclists have been identified through USA Cycling's development pathway as the next potential crop of professional, Olympic or otherwise world-class cyclists and invited to participate in this program. With the assistance of the USA Cycling Development Foundation these athletes have been given the opportunity to race against some of the best talent across the globe while receiving support from some of the most experienced coaches and staff in the industry.
One of USA Cycling’s dual missions is to achieve sustained success in international cycling competition. To help achieve this, USA Cycling maintains development programs for all disciplines of competitive cycling, including men, women and junior endurance programs, BMX, cyclo-cross, mountain bike and sprint track development programs. These programs provide a structured pathway to the top tier of the sport through athlete development that begins with junior racing series, Regional Development Camps, national championships and moves through to international competition.
The goal of USA Cycling’s National Development Program is to grow the sport of cycling by taking talented cyclists from grassroots levels and helping develop them into successful professional cyclists. These professionals then become heroes and role models, generating interest and enthusiasm which pulls new, young, talented athletes into the sport at the entry level. USA Cycling’s entire development process is structured to raise the bar for competitive cycling in America.
Cycling is traditionally a Eurocentric sport and most of the top world-class races take place across the Atlantic. In 2013, USA Cycling selected Sportzone in the Limburg, Netherlands municipality of Sittard-Geleen as its European training base. Approximately 150 U.S. cyclists and staff will utilize the Limburg location year-round to train and race for road, mountain bike, track and cyclo-cross. This facility will allow numerous American riders to live, train and compete in a structured environment only a day’s drive from some of the world’s toughest and most prestigious races in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and other European destinations. Competition schedules focus primarily on major European and other international races as well as UCI World Cup events. In addition to racing and training, this program introduces Americans to the culture of Europe. Each year about 130 athletes will rotate through the program which is supported by the USA Cycling Development Foundation.
The program in Limburg provides a centralized base for all of USA Cycling's European operations and offers a substantial upgrade in the size and scope of facilities, from housing and dining for the athletes to a separate service course for the mechanics that provides ample storage space. The progam has, an will continue to, expose hundreds of American athletes to the aggressive, strategic and demanding races that are commonplace for European cyclists for a fraction of former lodging and logistical costs of race travel abroad or even in the U.S. American cycling has in turn grown leaps and bounds; raising the bar in domestic competition, along with allowing our nation to shine on the international stage.
BMX & Sprint Track
USA Cycling’s NDP also offers domestic-based programs for both BMX and Sprint Track. For BMX, a resident program is offered in conjunction with the United States Olympic Committee at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula, Vista, Calif. Through this program qualified athletes are able to live adjacent to and train on the one of the world’s premiere supercross BMX tracks. A variety of junior and espoir development camps are also offered through USA Cycling’s BMX Programs Director at the Chula Vista OTC, with top athletes qualifying for a spot to compete at one of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cups. A junior development series is also run in conjunction with USA BMX each season with the winners earning the right to attend a junior development camp.
USA Cycling’s newest addition to its national development program is the sprint track program. Based out of the Home Depot Center Velodrome in Carson, Calif. this program allows aspiring track cyclists to train with one of the discipline’s top coaches and garner resources, opportunities and support that might not otherwise exist in their elite or professional teams.
As previously stated, several thousand young cyclists have trained, raced, travelled and lived through USA Cycling’s NDP. In 2010 alone, 266 individual riders took part in USA Cycling’s National Development Program, gaining valuable race experience through 1900 fully supported race days.
A few of the most noteable NDP participants are: David Zabriskie and Tyler Farrar, the only Americans to win a stage in each of cycling’s three grand tours — the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, and the Vuelta a España, Tejay VanGarderen, Brent Bookwalter, Taylor Phinney, Ben King, Craig Lewis, Danny Pate, Will Frischkorn and Peter Stetina. Additional riders fostered by the development program model who have gone on to compete at the highest levels of various disciplines of cycling include Michael Creed, Kristin Armstrong, Patrick McCarty, Sam Schultz, John Murphy, Adam Craig, Corben Sharrah, Arielle Martin and many more.
View a more inclusive list of riders here.
About USA Cycling’s National Development Programs
With one of its dual missions being to achieve sustained success in international cycling competition, USA Cycling maintains development programs for all disciplines of competitive cycling, including men,women, and junior road; mountain bike; track (endurance and sprint); and BMX programs. These programs provide a structured pathway to the top tier of the sport through athlete development that begins with junior racing series, regional development camps and moves through to international competition. For more about USA Cycling’s Athlete Development Programs, visit usacycling.org/ndp.
This Article Published March 21, 2007 For more information contact: