USA Cycling announces National Development Program staff changes

  
  


Mike Sayers (left) and Jack Seehafer have been added to USA Cycling's stellar stable of coaches in its National Development Program.
Mike Sayers (left) and Jack Seehafer have been added to USA Cycling's stellar stable of coaches in its National Development Program.
Colorado Springs, Colo. (December 12, 2012) — USA Cycling on Wednesday announced effective January 1, 2013, the hiring of two coaches to support its National Development Program (NDP). Jack Seehafer will manage the women’s endurance program. Havoc, Inc., led by former BMC Racing Team sport director Mike Sayers, will manage the Under-23 men’s development program.

In addition to the two new hires, Jamie Staff has been promoted to the high performance director of sprint programs for USA Cycling.

Sayers, through his company Havoc, Inc., will direct USA Cycling’s U-23 development efforts from USA Cycling’s new training base in Holland. He will oversee all aspects of the successful, 14-year-old U-23 program, from race selection to rider development and serve an integral role in supporting and instructing young riders as they attempt to transition to professional careers.

"We're extremely excited about adding Jack and Mike to our world-class coaching staff,” said USA Cycling President and CEO Steve Johnson. “The USA Cycling U-23 and Women’s development programs have been profoundly successful in developing America's best emerging riders; and, under Mike's and Jack's expert tutelage, we are confident these programs will continue to produce our future generations of professional cyclists. We’re also excited by the opportunity to expand Jamie’s role to include oversight of our BMX programs. Jamie’s past successes as both a BMX and track rider make the consolidation of these two programs a natural fit."

Sayers competed as a road cyclist from 1996-2008. He rode for Comptel-Colorado Cyclist, Mercury Pro Cycling Team, and Health Net p/b Maxxis before concluding his career on the BMC Racing Team. Sayers was with the BMC team from its inception as a Continental team to Pro Continental to World Tour team. After his career as a rider, Sayers served as the assistant director of global cycling operations for BMC and Continuum Sports Management since 2009. In his role with the BMC Racing Team, Sayers contributed to Cadel Evans’ winning the 2011 Tour de France and the development of young American stars, Taylor Phinney and Tejay van Garderen.

Sayers has been involved with USA Cycling as he was a member of the Professional Committee and directed several road racing teams at the world championships. He was the team director for the men’s road team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where NDP alum Taylor Phinney placed fourth in both the road race and the time trial. Sayers also directed the American contingent at the UCI Road World Championships in 2010 in Melbourne, Australia and 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“I am extremely proud to be taking over the U-23 program for USA Cycling,” Sayers said. “I would like to thank Jim Miller and Steve Johnson for their confidence in me and my abilities. My goal is to make USA Cycling’s U-23 program a premier program where young men will have the best support. I feel this is the beginning of something extraordinary. I will strive to build something we can all be proud to be involved in. The athletes that have come before have accomplished some extraordinary achievements that I hope we can meet and exceed.”

As USA Cycling’s women’s endurance program manager, Seehafer will oversee the women’s road contingent of the USA Cycling National Development Program. He will select the races in which to contest, make rider selection for those teams and contribute to the selection of the squad representing the United States at international competitions such as world championships, world cups and the Olympic Games.

Over the past five road cycling seasons, Seehafer has directed his riders to over 300 podium appearances. The last four seasons, he has worked in various capacities with the Team Type 1 road team. He served as the men’s team director of the Team Type 1 pro men’s team in 2012 after filling that role on a part-time basis the previous three seasons. He twice led women to the top of the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) women’s standings. As the director for the Colavita women’s team in 2008, Seehafer guided Tina Pic to the top spot, and repeated the feat in 2009 when Alison Powers rode to the top spot of the NRC women’s standings while the team finished second in the women’s team standings. Seehafer is married to Kori Kelly Seehafer, who competed for the United States.

In his new role, Jamie Staff will work with elite BMX athletes in addition to overseeing the track program.
In his new role, Jamie Staff will work with elite BMX athletes in addition to overseeing the track program.
“I am more than excited to be joining the USA Cycling family with the opportunity to head up the Women's Program,” Seehafer said. “I feel like I am coming full circle in returning to the women's side of the sport and I am looking forward to the challenges presented, mainly that of trying to win gold in Rio in 2016. In making the change from Team Type 1 to USA Cycling, I've been getting positive reception from those in the sport, both riders and sponsors, which has been encouraging and highly motivating. I look forward to working with the ladies, both those I have previously worked with and those I have not.”

In his new role as the high performance director of sprint programs, Staff will not only oversee the track program, but he will also work with the elite level BMX athletes and contribute to training programs.

Staff, a British Olympic gold medalist born and raised in Ashford, England, joined USA Cycling in 2010. He was a member of the gold-medal winning team sprint squad in Beijing and also earned a keirin world title (2004) and team sprint world titles (2002 and ’05). Attracted to the track late in his career, the 39-year-old got his start in BMX, winning a world title in that discipline in 1996 and attaining world number one status in 2000 and 2001.

Under Staff’s tutelage, Jimmy Watkins, a full-time firefighter in Kern County, Calif., finished sixth in the men’s sprint at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

“I’m very excited to go back to my roots and hopefully have a huge impact on a lot of the elite athletes becoming more professional,” Staff said. “I hope I can give them some of the tools necessary to compete at the highest level competitions around the world. I’m extremely excited to be working with such talented athletes. I hope to have them performing highly on the world stage.”


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