October 4/06 10:26 am - USA Cycling Talent Search
Posted by Editor on 10/4/06
USA Cycling Talent Search
Editor's Note: This program is not open to Canadians, however, it is an example of the type of program Canada needs to invest in to avoid being left behind in the identification and development of future athletes.
Nationwide Launch will Train, Test and Develop Elite Junior Racers
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Ë† USA Cycling and RacerMate are proud to announce the USA Cycling Talent Search powered by RacerMate, an ongoing program that identifies new talent, drawing from both new and existing bicycle racers, to develop for the U.S. National Cycling Team, the 2012 Olympic Team and professional bicycle racing teams. Bicycling Magazine is the media partner in this project.
Steve Johnson, CEO of USA Cycling and former member of the Subaru-Montgomery pro cycling team, said, â€žYoung cyclists are the key to the future of our sport and it is critical we identify them early so we can carefully cultivate their talent and prepare them for competition. RacerMate's national MultiRider network offers a unique opportunity to accurately test America's youth talent in a controlled setting, on a nationwide level. A critical aspect of this program is to search as far and wide as we can, and in Bicycling we are partnering with the nation's most-read cycling magazine.â€°
Chuck Wurster, vice president of RacerMate, Inc. said, â€žIt is a privilege to be a part of such an important and revolutionary project in American cycling. RacerMate has been working towards this for years. Our equipment will provide reliable, accurate, and repeatable data within a controlled indoor setting, with a qualified coach at hand, and which can be compared with performance data taken at different times in locations spread all across America."
Bicycling Magazine will kick off the National Talent Search in late 2006 with a preliminary series of short cycling tests conducted in schools and Boys and Girls Clubs in three major US cities using RacerMate's CompuTrainer equipment. Those who do well in this preliminary stage will be encouraged to continue in the full program. Specifics of this preliminary phase will be available on the partners' web sites as of mid-October.
During January and February of 2007, up to 100 CompuTrainer MultiRider Centers across the United States will simultaneously host an after-school program of cycling tests and training. This will culminate in a final 20 kilometer (12 mile) time trial test simulating the 2007 USA Cycling Junior National Championships in July. This test will be conducted on the RacerMate Velotron bicycle ergometer used by top-level universities and sports labs around the world for its reliable simulation of cycling.
Involved with the design of the testing and training protocols are longtime users of RacerMate equipment, Drs. Max Testa and Eric Heiden of The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH) in Murray, Utah, where they conduct cycling testing and training at the highest level.
The top 12 athletes as determined by analysis of test data will attend a free 5-day training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in March, with the opportunity to learn from USA Cycling coaches and other accomplished members of the national cycling community.
Sponsored by RacerMate, manufacturer of the world's premier bicycle training and performance analysis systems, the training camp will focus on all aspects of race preparation and performance, as well as field testing. The selected athletes will also have a chance to rub shoulders with current national team members and participate in their training activities.
Upon the completion of this elite training camp, the athletes will be advised of coaches in their areas they could contact for a special race preparation program building up to the 2007 USA Cycling National Festival at Seven Springs.
Those cyclists who do not make the cut from the eight-week training program in the first year will be advised about their potential and invited to stay in the system and have access to elite level training advice and facilities at their local MultiRider center for another shot in 2008 and future years.