USA Cycling Foundation Awards $74,000+ to 2019 Centers of Excellence Programs
The USA Cycling Foundation Center of Excellence designation is awarded to select programs which meet strict organizational requirements and excel in developing young cyclists. These club teams collectively have over 1,500 youth, junior and U23 member riders. The Center of Excellence program continues to grow in quantity and quality, all contributing to the amazing U.S. talent pool in the junior and U-23 age categories. Funding for the Center of Excellence program is made possible by a generous grant from the Carolan Family Foundation and other generous individual gifts to the USA Cycling Foundation.
Center of Excellence Program Highlights
El Grupo Youth Cycling
“El Grupo Youth Cycling is thrilled to be included and receive support as a Center of Excellence for the first time! While we have nearly 15 years of experience working with getting more kids on bikes, and even won the USAC Junior Club of the Year Award in 2015, it is an honor to be recognized at this next level. Though we have some incredible results over the years, including national championships and alumni in the pro ranks, we have always been more than a racing team.” – Ignacio Rivera de Rosales, Co-founder & Head Coach, El Grupo
El Grupo is a youth development organization with a mission to empower youth through bicycles. Team leaders foster values that support youth both on and off the bike, now and into their future. Learning bike skills is a significant component of all programs of El Grupo, but the power is in the personal growth that each youth rider achieves.
“Through El Grupo, our goals range from introducing kids to the sport of cycling to supporting juniors and U23 to compete at the highest levels. Our greatest goal for 2019 is to have 15 of our youth (ages 12-18) travel to and compete at US Mountain Bike Nationals for the first time in El Grupo's history. Over 50% of the kids we serve through El Grupo qualify as low-income. We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of our cycling community that supports these youth year-round, and for the support of USA Cycling Foundation to help us empower youth through bicycles.” - Daniela Diamente, Co-Founder of El Grupo Youth Cycling
Recent top 2018 results from alumni of the team include: Cara O’Neill and Chloe Welch, Collegiate Nationals Cyclo Cross Team Relay -1st place Cara, Collegiate Nationals Road Race - 2nd place Chloe and Cara, Collegiate Nationals - Team Time Trial - 1st place Ethan Overson, Junior Road Nationals Time Trial - 6th place
The Valley Preferred Cycling Center
"The Valley Preferred Cycling Center is looking forward to a tremendous 2019 season. Newly named one of four Olympic Development Program tracks in the country, T-Town is looking forward to developing the track racing stars of the future through their Air Products Programs and Bicycle Racing League right on up through their Junior Performance Academy. Playing host to the JNTC series, on June 1st and 2nd, we truly do provide a pathway for developing new riders right here at home. With accessible, low cost racing opportunities available on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer racers young and old get to compete and develop throughout the season. This year we’ve expanded our Air Products programming to feature Women’s Wednesdays with Kim Geist – a program that offers women the opportunity to learn about the track from one of the world’s very best athletes in a fun and safe setting.
But the T-Town is much more! Our racing program is distinct - hosting 8 days of UCI racing, with top riders from more than 15 countries spending their summer in the “concrete crater”. We showcase the very best the sport has to offer to fans of the sport as well as demonstrating to our young development riders what’s possible through dedication to the sport." - Joan Hanscom, Executive Director of The Valley Preferred Cycling Center
USA Cycling Foundation recognizes the outstanding work of all of these Center of Excellence programs as they continue to grow the model of athlete development in cycling and contribute to the elevated levels of competition and growth of the sport in the United States.
For more information and a complete list of the USA Cycling Foundation Center of Excellence programs, click here.