USA Cycling National Development Program riders head to Mexico to give back & help


Colorado Springs, Colo. (January 22, 2014) -- Before heading to Europe to start the 2014 racing campaign, the U23 riders in the USA Cycling National Development Program traveled to Rosarito, Mexico with More Than Sport to assist in building a house for families in need. The More Than Sport project will be done in conjunction with the U23 program training camp in Chula Vista, Calif.

Tanner Putt leading a group during the U23 Tour de Flanders
Tanner Putt is among a large group of riders in the USA Cycling National Development Program heading to Mexico. (Photo by Casey Gibson)

The contingent traveling to Mexico includes 18 riders, USA Cycling U23 Program Director Mike Sayers, Program and Operations Manager Andrew Hawkes, U23 Director Sportif Billy Crane and mechanic Vince Gee. Guy East, who is the director of operations San Diego/Baja for More than Sport, approached USA Cycling’s Vice President of Athletics Jim Miller with the idea of More than Sport teaming with the national development program. East is also an alumnus of the national development program, who races on the track professionally. He teamed with Daniel Holloway to place 11th at the Six-Days of Rotterdam in Netherlands in early January.

The riders arrived at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista on Jan. 22. They shuttled to Rosarito, Mexico later in the day to begin assisting in building a house. They will assist in building the house until Jan. 24 when they return to Chula Vista to prepare for the road season, including competing in the Boulevard Road Race in Alpine, Calif., on Feb. 1.

More Than Sport partners with Homes of Hope to provide builders, translators, hosts and more to assist the athletes through the process. The families that receive the homes are selected based on specific criteria developed over 20 years. The families are screened through a three-step interview process. The families must either own or be paying toward owning the property and have a need. From the initial interview to the family receiving the home typically spans six to eight months. Ninety-three percent of the families who have received homes through Homes of Hope still live in the house after 10 years.

“For athletes this is an opportunity to live for more than crossing finish lines,” East said. “I believe that our trips help create the world's best athletes by encouraging a healthy work-life balance and giving them an understanding for the world around them. A lot of athletes are willing to give financially and support a cause; we want to see athletes step into action and serve on the ground level. We help make that possible by making it easy on athletes to build and hosting them in relaxing accommodations on the Pacific Ocean. USA Cycling's initiative to bring their U23 team is a major step in the right direction. Jim Miller and Mike Sayers have decided to invest in the lives of their athletes by providing a meaningful experience that will make a lasting impact on their lives and team. They are the first team to make this leap. They won't be the last.”

“This trip to Mexico is about life experience for these young guys,” Sayers said. “This is an opportunity for them to do something different than they do every day. That is part of the foundation of the USA Cycling National Development Program. It has as much to do with developing aspiring pro bike riders as training or racing. I hope this trip to Mexico is seen as a microcosm of our philosophy.”

The riders scheduled to participate in the program are:

Miguel Bryon (Miami, Fla./Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)
Robin Carpenter (Philadelphia, Pa./Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)
Geoffrey Curran (Tustin, Calif./Bissell Development Team)
Greg Daniel (Englewood, Colo./Bissell Development Team)
Alexandre Darville (Santa Barbara, Calif./Bissell Development Team)
Ryan Eastman (Petaluma, Calif./Bissell Development Team)
Robin Eckmann (Boulder, Colo./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized)
T.J. Eisenhart (Lehi, Utah/BMC Development Team)
Colin Joyce (Pocatello, Idaho/California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized),
Eamon Lucas (Pacific Grove, Calif./Herriott Sports Performance-Hagens Berman U-23)
Eric Oien (Escondido, Calif./Monster Media Racing Team-Monster Media)
Torey Philipp (El Dorado Hills, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized)
Jeffrey Perrin (Lakewood, Colo./Herriott Sports Performance-Hagens Berman U-23)
Chris Putt (Park City, Utah/Bissell Development Team)
Tanner Putt (Park City, Utah/Bissell Development Team)
Brendan Rhim (Norwich, Vt./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized),
Colby Wait-Molyneux (Vancouver, Wash./Herriott Sports Performance-Hagens Berman U-23)
Tyler Williams (Shafter, Calif./BMC Development Team)

Several alumni of USA Cycling National Development Program are among those who made donations to make this project possible. The donations came from:

Ian Boswell
Cal Crutchlow
Ben King
Caleb Fairly
Kelly Benefit Strategies (John Kelly)
Joe Kukolla
Taylor Phinney

This Article Updated January 22, 2014 @ 11:55 PM For more information contact: