USA Cycling Women's Club of the Year: the Velo Girls Bicycle Club (San Mateo, California)
Photo courtesy Lorri Lee Lown, Velo Girls
Colorado Springs, Colo. (December 22, 2008)—USA Cycling has announced the recipients of its annual Club of the Year awards. Ten USA Cycling-sanctioned clubs received recognition for outstanding programs throughout the 2008 season and will receive complimentary registration fees for the 2009 racing season.
Clubs were judged on several key areas including race promotion, membership composition, instructional clinics and seminars, club activities, charitable contributions and racing performance.
Of USA Cycling’s 2,216 member clubs, approximately 76 applied for consideration in 10 separate categories.
Three primary clubs were recognized based on membership size (Division I = 76+ members, Division II = 30-75 members and Division III = 1-29 members), while seven additional clubs were awarded with the Club of the Year designation based on specific categories – mountain bike, collegiate, track, new club, women’s, master’s, and junior/high school.
Receiving Division I Club of the Year honors was the Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club (LGBRC) (Saratoga, Calif.) The LGBRC exemplified a model cycling club across several categories including community involvement, clinics and seminars, junior programs and much more. The club promotes the Cat’s Hill Classic which is a 36-year-old criterium that takes places in downtown Los Gatos and features a variety of community activities, including a free children’s race. The club also hosts the Timpani Criterium in Santa Clara where the race serves as a fundraiser for the group’s junior development program.
From an educational perspective, the LGBRC conducted multiple clinics and seminars that focused on several key areas including junior and women’s development, specific skills and racing tactics. The club also facilitates a mentoring program and hosts regular training sessions at the Hellyer Velodrome.
The Division I Club of the Year also held regular training rides targeted at specific groups including juniors. As the top fundraising team at the 2008 Tour de Cure, a variety of fundraisers are also an ongoing part of the club’s culture. On the first Monday of each month the LGBRC holds team meetings to review sponsor support, race results, club events and membership statistics and cover any emerging issues. The club also publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Catalyst, which contains race reports, photos, race results and more.
The LGBRC boasts 185 members, with nearly half of those either junior or female riders. The LGBRC also earned 60 race victories, 174 top-three results and over 400 top-10 results in 2008.
Last year’s Division III Club of the Year, the Cross Creek Cycling Club (Fayetteville, N.C.), moved up to the Division II ranks this season and was promptly awarded that category’s highest honor. No stranger to awards, the club has also earned Best New Club of the Year in 2004 and Master’s Club of the Year in 2005. Also in 2007 and again this season, the Cross Creek Cycling Club was named USA Cycling’s Master’s Club of the Year for its contributions to programs that cater to riders aged 30 and up.
Cross Creek promotes the North Carolina State Criterium Championships and hosted 36 educational clinics and seminars focused on junior development, cyclo-cross, bike safety and more. The group also held a USA Cycling Officials Clinic where 13 members became certified class-three officials. Cross Creek also prides itself on its contributions to several charitable organizations including Operation Spin Cycle, the Wounded Warrior Project, Ride Without Limits, Special Olympics and many more.
USA Cycling also chose the Cross Creek Cycling Club as its Master’s Club of the Year this season because of its master’s-related programs and initiatives. Cross Creek features a master’s program that places juniors under the watchful mentorship of several master’s riders. Following the completion of each race, the club’s master members provide valuable feedback to the developing riders. The club also conducted 10 mentorship rides in 2008.
The Division III Club of the Year was earned by the Sorella Cycling Club (Atlanta, Ga.). The promoters of the Georgia International Horse Park Cyclo-cross Race and the Georgia Cross Series also received high marks for its contribution to the sport by hosting 24 clinics and seminars. Sorella, which is made up of 27 USA Cycling licensed female members, is also extremely active in charitable causes, including the creation of cycling guides for wheelchair racers of the ING Marathon, trail maintenance work, a central homeless shelter night and more.
Black Bear Cycling (Sussex, N.J.) repeated as USA Cycling’s Mountain Bike Club of the Year. The promoter of the Wawayanda Spring Cleaning mountain bike race in Hewitt, N.J., Black Bear Cycling featured four clinics throughout the season focusing on bike safety. The club’s members enjoyed several competitive successes throughout the season with podium finishes at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships and the Campmor H2H MTB Race Series. Not only does the group maintain a high level of visibility in the regional racing scene, but has an exemplary volunteer record, partnering with two state park administrations and local high schools. Club members also logged more than 300 hours in volunteer trail work in 2008 alone.
The United States Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was named USA Cycling Collegiate Club of the Year. The school hosted the Front Range Cycling Classic Road Race and Time Trial and co-sponsored the USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships. The USAFA club hosted a week-long training camp, four weekend-long, discipline-specific training camps and 16 different cycling seminars. A series of membership drives, training events, banquets and tours also highlighted the club’s 2008 season. The group, whose mission is to develop exceptional young men and women into leaders of character through competitive cycling and to take a lead role in developing cycling conscious policies across the U.S. Air Force, also accomplished several team goals, including securing a fully functioning on-campus bicycle shop, developing a comprehensive club handbook and a nutritional analysis program. The team, comprised strictly of undergraduates, also started a “Borrow a Bike” program which offers free use of team bicycles, maintains a mentorship program which matches upperclassmen with newcomers, promotes cycling for fitness and offers weekly clinics. From a competitive standpoint, the USAFA competed in more than 70 USA Cycling sanctioned races racking up 32 wins and 206 top-ten placings, including a fifth-place finish in the men’s team time trial at the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Track Club of the Year award went to the Hammer Racing Team (Littleton, Colo.). The club annually promotes its Hammer Time Trial Day at the Track – an opportunity for beginners to expose themselves to track racing without the intimidation factor of mass-start racing. Hammer Racing also works with the Colorado Velodrome Association to conduct beginners’ and women’s clinics, including a five-week long in-depth course. The group also hosts weekly training rides and track training sessions. At the 2008 USA Cycling Master Track National Championships, Hammer Racing Team members came home with two national titles and a Best All-Around Rider award. Hammer Racing also saw one of its riders grab the silver medal at the UCI Masters Track World Championships in Sydney, Australia and another win the Colorado Velodrome Association Rider of the Year award. Hammer Racing also donated it’s time to assist with regional bike races for the Special Olympics.
The USA Cycling Women’s Club of the Year went to the Velo Girls Bicycle Club (San Mateo, Calif.). The club has 20 USA Cycling licensed racers and boasts more than 300 members, all women. The club supports Team Velo Girls, which includes road, mountain bike and cyclo-cross riders and also added a development team, Tri-Flow, in 2008. The group also offers a very active calendar of events with organized rides, numerous clinics and seminars across a wide range of topics and also promotes the Tri-Flow Menlo Park Grand Prix and the Friday Nights Live track racing series at the Hellyer Velodrome in San Jose, Calif. Velo Girls also organizes and participates in various charitable activities including Bike to Work Day, NCNCA Race Mentoring, Turning Wheels for Kids and more.
Finally, Red Zone Cycling (Louisville, Ky.) collected awards for both Best New Club of the Year and Junior/High School Club of the Year. The junior-specific cycling club and team not only helps train the next generation of cyclists, but helped organize and promote the Kentucky State Cyclo-cross Championships. The 23 licensed member group regularly hosts officials’ clinics to educate parents on the sport and rules of cycling. The team also holds regular training rides as well as cross training sessions and boasted 73 wins across various junior divisions in 2008.
USA Cycling would like to thank the 2008 Clubs of the Year for their exemplary conduct in areas of race promotion, membership composition, clinics and seminars, club activities, racing performance and charitable contributions.
2008 USA Cycling Club of the Year Recipients
Division I Club of the Year: Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club - Saratoga, Calif.
Division II Club of the Year: Cross Creek Cycling – Fayetteville, N.C.
Division III Club of the Year: Sorella Cycling - Atlanta, Ga.
Mountain Bike Club of the Year: Black Bear Cycling - Sussex, N.J.
Collegiate Club of the Year: United States Air Force Academy – Colorado Springs, Colo.
Track Club of the Year: Hammer Racing Team - Littleton, Colo.
Best New Club of the Year: Red Zone Cycling - Louisville, Ky.
Women’s Club of the Year: Velo Girls - San Mateo, Calif.
Master’s Club of the Year: Cross Creek Cycling – Fayetteville, N.C.
Junior/High School Club of the Year: Red Zone Cycling - Louisville, Ky.