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Anonymous donor sparks USA Cycling Olympic Development Track Program

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Anonymous donor sparks USA Cycling Olympic Development Track Program

Old 01-30-19, 11:24 AM
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chas58
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Anonymous donor sparks USA Cycling Olympic Development Track Program

I thought this was kind of interesting. It would be good to see stronger USA representation at Olympic track events.

USA Cycling today announced the four velodromes that will be participating in the governing body's Olympic Development Track Program, a new initiative sparked by "the generous support of a private donor with a passion for track cycling," according to a press release.

2019 Olympic Development Program Training Centers:
  • Alkek Velodrome, Houston, Texas
  • Dick Lane Velodrome, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome, Seattle, Washington
  • Valley Preferred Cycling Center, Trexlertown, Pennsylvania

Source: Anonymous donor sparks USA Cycling Olympic Development Track Program | Cyclingnews.com
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Old 01-30-19, 11:53 AM
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the National Program has been going pretty strong for a couple of years and has a few World Championships and numerous World Cup medals to show for it... but yeah, I think the true sign of a strong program is whether or not there's a pipeline of people coming up behind the current riders in the program. I think it's a model that requires several y ears to bear fruit. Having seen a bunch of very young, very talented riders start to interface with USAC with an eye toward figuring **** out for 2024 or beyond... I'm encouraged. hopefully there's a plan and a commitment to keep this moving for a while.
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Old 01-30-19, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
the National Program has been going pretty strong for a couple of years and has a few World Championships and numerous World Cup medals to show for it... but yeah, I think the true sign of a strong program is whether or not there's a pipeline of people coming up behind the current riders in the program. I think it's a model that requires several y ears to bear fruit. Having seen a bunch of very young, very talented riders start to interface with USAC with an eye toward figuring **** out for 2024 or beyond... I'm encouraged. hopefully there's a plan and a commitment to keep this moving for a while.
I agree that we have the talent and the results as proof.

However, I feel like those that are at the top in the US got there on their own, either with help from parents or by sacrificing a lot (e.g. Mansker). Itís simply very difficult to train like an elite athlete and function like a normal young adult.

From the bottom looking up, the National Team system is so ambiguous and cryptic.

I believe that we lose out on that raw talent thatís good enough to be on the World stage, but lack the resources and/or donít know how to navigate the politics of getting financial support. So there winds up being an Olympic Dream...with no clear path or measurable milestones.

The fastest bike racers in the United States are not on a path to the Olympics. They will likely give up for at least one of several reasons that should not be.
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Old 01-30-19, 03:32 PM
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So, in case some of you missed it, some results from HK.... The US rode a great team pursuit in the first round -- 4:54 something on a slower track than New Zealand. They took some risks and cracked in the final, but they're totally medal capable at Worlds.

Hegevary got his first ever medal in an individual event (also his first try), a silver in the scratch.

So I would definitely say that the US men's endurance team is looking better and better.
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Old 01-30-19, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tobukog View Post
So, in case some of you missed it, some results from HK.... The US rode a great team pursuit in the first round -- 4:54 something on a slower track than New Zealand. They took some risks and cracked in the final, but they're totally medal capable at Worlds.

Hegevary got his first ever medal in an individual event (also his first try), a silver in the scratch.

So I would definitely say that the US men's endurance team is looking better and better.
It's pretty interesting to look around and realize that after two and a half years of USAC actually caring about the track program, they've kiiind of settled on a lineup that's a mix of older pros like hegevary and some real talented up-and-comers, plus the whole diamond in the rough thing with Lambie, and that the men's endurance program is finally on par with the women's program... and members hold both the men's and women's IP world record. pretty wild. a year and a half ago i thought they were tilting at windmills with their men's TP aspirations, but here they are riding a time that was a world record pace not too many years ago.
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Old 01-31-19, 03:41 PM
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The Men's team progression looks great. I am glad they are doing that. I wonder how the women's team is doing? It seems they were active early in the track season, but not much for the last world cups. You would think USA cycling could send the women's endurance team along for these races as well.

What about Sprinters? I know Marquardt, and Godby (?) have been racing and getting some results, but no men's sprinters?

I like that USA Cycling is moving from just having a good women's program I just hope have the men's does'nt mean the support for the women has or will go away, and also that we won't support sprinters.
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Old 01-31-19, 04:56 PM
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Dygert has been injured and both men and the women's endurance teams are picking their spots -- they're aiming for points from 3 world cups, Pan Ams, and Worlds. Godby in particular looks pretty good -- she rides a good Keirin and is decent in the match sprint.
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Old 01-31-19, 05:12 PM
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Pity we still don't have any men sprinting at world level. What ever happened to Baronoski?
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Old 01-31-19, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
Pity we still don't have any men sprinting at world level. What ever happened to Baronoski?
After the last Olympics, absolutely all of his social media trickled to a halt. He should have graduated from college by now in engineering (I think that was his major. Some genre of engineering). My guess is that ďlifeĒ and starting his career seemed more attractive than unpaid two-a-days for 4 more years. Yes, he would have been an automatic pick for the National Team, but the thrill is gone. Heís already been close to the mountain top. Heíd have to give up a helluva lot for another shot with no guarantees of making it to the top.

Disclaimer: All of the above is speculation.

Last edited by carleton; 01-31-19 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 01-31-19, 10:06 PM
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How many people actually convert being an Olympian into money that can buy a home of provide for a family? Iíd say very few. And mostly those who choose to stay in sports related careers coaching and whatnot.

There is is very little financial upside to making it to the Olympics. Sure, a handful have ridden the fame into other careers. But, the vast majority do not. They are considered experts in their sport...but if being such an expert doesnít pay, then what?
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Old 01-31-19, 10:16 PM
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It absolutely sucks to have to demolish your body like a professional athlete (that gets professional athlete pay) for next to nothing. The Olympics is the pinnacle of amateur sport.

Iím sure that every Olympic athlete is ďtaking a lossĒ financially when they do the math on the hours spent training, competing, traveling, and resting vs gains from sponsors.

But, there are sports that allow athletes to have day jobs. For example, firearm and archery events, curling, etc... But, track cycling isnít one of them.
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Old 02-01-19, 06:59 AM
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A few years ago, a friend of our's daughter was selected for the Junior Worlds team. While USAC was covering travel for the junior men, the junior women on the team had to pay their own way. She had to run a GoFundMe campaign for it. I was quite peeved when I found out, and people in the know told me that was USAC's SOP and complaining about it was likely to result in her being cut from the team. I don't know if that has changed, but it really chapped my behind.
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Old 02-01-19, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tobukog View Post
Dygert has been injured and both men and the women's endurance teams are picking their spots -- they're aiming for points from 3 world cups, Pan Ams, and Worlds. Godby in particular looks pretty good -- she rides a good Keirin and is decent in the match sprint.
They've managed to field a variety of decent TP teams without Dygert; I think Catlin was also injured (but I think it goes without saying that Dygert, Valente, and Catlin are the foundations of their TP squad). They added a few people to trips, like Emma White and Kendall Ryan, in addition to . But it seems as though fielding full teams for every WC is a bit of a tall order - no huge surprise there. Regardless it's felt like a pretty robust program - a couple of sprinters (with Godby winning a World Cup keirin) and fairly full representation in just about every endurance event at the WCs where they've sent a team.

Last edited by queerpunk; 02-03-19 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 02-01-19, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
How many people actually convert being an Olympian into money that can buy a home of provide for a family? Iíd say very few. And mostly those who choose to stay in sports related careers coaching and whatnot.

Well, there is this guy. Quite an interesting read for when youhave 43 minutes:
How an Olympic Hopeful Robbed 26 Banks on His Bike
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Old 02-02-19, 11:17 PM
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Add Kim Geist to the TP list.
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Old 02-02-19, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
... Itís simply very difficult to train like an elite athlete and function like a normal young adult....
Track is the best opportunity for this. Road just takes miles/hours.
Originally Posted by carleton View Post
The fastest bike racers in the United States are not on a path to the Olympics. They will likely give up for at least one of several reasons that should not be.
I assume "fastest bike racers" means track, as this is a track forum. Ashton in fast. I would expect him to go to the Olympics.
Then there are a lot of reasons to give up something, for something else. 1st world problems.
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Old 02-03-19, 05:20 PM
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Carleton was referring to sprinters specifically here. Obviously Lambie is the fastest pursuit in the world at the moment.
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Old 02-03-19, 05:25 PM
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Iím talking pursuiters, too.

The fastest track racers in the US are not riding Track.

Exhibit A: Taylor Phinney

He showed up. Won the IP world championship. Out-kiloed the kilo guys (almost won a WC there, too). Would have been ideal for IP and The Omnium or to anchor a TP team.

I would guess his thinking was, ďNah...track donít pay.Ē
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Old 02-04-19, 12:27 AM
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Sorry, didn't mean to put words in your mouth, that's what I was talking about. To me it looks like the enduro side is doing pretty damn well at the moment.

Agreee that culturally the US is not and probably never will be a "cycling nation" where the best go there before ball sports. UK is an anomaly in the last 10-20 years, but essentially there are a handful of countries in the world where cycling is seen as a viable option for young athletes. Heck, even in Japan with pro keirin and the junior cycling infrastructure I've seen, the big sports are still baseball and football/soccer. Cycling is way down the list.
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Old 02-04-19, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
Sorry, didn't mean to put words in your mouth...
No big deal. I do talk about sprinters most of the time.


Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
To me it looks like the enduro side is doing pretty damn well at the moment.
Yes, but I feel like this is an exception right now for the men...until it becomes a "dynasty" like the women's team.


Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
Agreee that culturally the US is not and probably never will be a "cycling nation" where the best go there before ball sports. UK is an anomaly in the last 10-20 years, but essentially there are a handful of countries in the world where cycling is seen as a viable option for young athletes. Heck, even in Japan with pro keirin and the junior cycling infrastructure I've seen, the big sports are still baseball and football/soccer. Cycling is way down the list.
But, even for those who choose cycling, the best cyclists aren't racing track.

I can say, without a doubt, that of all of the active cyclists within 1hr of every velodrome in the USA, those with the very best legs and lungs for mass start and endurance racing are not racing track. They are all pro roadies.

I bet if you asked every velodrome director to pick 5 candidates to train and possibly represent the US for mass start/endurance racing in international competition from a 1 hr radius (trackies, roadies, MTB, CX...), all but maybe a couple would be pro roadies.

This may even hold up for other countries as well.

*(The caveat is that they would have to train and become familiar with rules, etiquette, races, equipment, and gain requisite experience over months/years. My point is that they would likely have the best legs and lungs but not necessarily experience)

Those that do start as trackies and prove that they have the genetics to be tops in the world (track or road) invariably choose road...like Phinney, Cav, etc... Even those that think they can graduate to the Road (but can't top that game) at least try, like Bos, Nothstien, etc...
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Old 02-04-19, 06:35 AM
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I honestly think Money is the bottom line. World-level Elite Track racing requires a lot of work for little or no pay.

If the money were there, more roadies and power sport athletes would pay the dues to get that pay.

Put another way, how many top athletes would train twice a day to win a USTA Amateur Tennis Championship...when they could go pro and make pro money?

The top tennis players train and play for either money or college scholarships.

Last edited by carleton; 02-04-19 at 06:52 AM. Reason: USTA not USAT
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Old 02-04-19, 08:57 AM
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Right now, the vast majority of women and men in USAC's endurance program are paid a salary, and have come from pro road racing.

As much as there's always room for improvement, it's really weird to hear you repeatedly say that USAC isn't doing exactly what it's been doing for several years now. You've been saying it for years - and just not admitting when it starts happening.
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Old 02-04-19, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
Right now, the vast majority of women and men in USAC's endurance program are paid a salary, and have come from pro road racing.

As much as there's always room for improvement, it's really weird to hear you repeatedly say that USAC isn't doing exactly what it's been doing for several years now. You've been saying it for years - and just not admitting when it starts happening.
?? OK.

Basic questions:

- How many are getting paid?
- How much are they being paid?
- Is it a living wage?
- Is it a "stipend" or a "salary"?

Until those facts prove me wrong, my points still stand.
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Old 02-04-19, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
Carleton was referring to sprinters specifically here. Obviously Lambie is the fastest pursuit in the world at the moment.
Not at sea level he isnít
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Old 02-04-19, 11:28 AM
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Sure, I'll google for you I guess. When they announced the new National Team program (a year ago? two?) they published all of that - salaries and criteria for earning 'em. Most of the riders are at the gold and silver level, based on what I remember about results. I'd say the salary's a little light, but then again I know a rider who got top ten at pro crit national championships while earning a "professional road salary" of $3000/year, so 4x that seems downright luxurious by comparison.

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