cycling utah September 1999
The Young Riders athletes pictured- left to right in the back row. Coach- Sean McLaughlin, Coach- Heinrich Deters, Brian Tolbert, Jessie Hawlish, Tyler Toly, Head Coach- Carter Davis, Director- Kim Reed. Front Row- Dylan Johns, Trevor Lee, Tyler Turkington, Clayton Karz, Tyler Fought, Paul Clark.
Grassroots program helps "Young Riders" achieve race goals
Marking a first in the history of the Community Olympic Development Program (CODP), Park City-based CODP and Young Riders program hosted athletes from the San Antonio CODP program to train and prepare for the 1999 NORBA National Championship Series mountain bike races at Deer Valley.
The Young Riders, an organization focusing on the instruction of mountain biking for youth in Utah and a designated CODP program, had 12 athletes competing in various classes. Nine athletes from the San Antonio area traveled to Utah and competed along with training with the Young Riders athletes and learned from the Young Riders coaching staff about high altitude mountain bike training.
Coached by semi-pro racer Carter Davis, Sean McLaughlin and Heinrich Deters The Young Riders team assists junior racers to improve their competitive cycling to successfully compete nationally.
"It's exciting to have our athletes be able to train with other elite level athletes that came for the Deer Valley NCS races," said Kim Reed, director of The Young Riders program. "Being a part of this pilot program enabled our athletes to learn from one another and challenged themselves in a supportive environment."
In its seventh year, The Young Riders program gives instruction for the beginner to advanced mountain biker. The developmental race aspect was designated a CODP program, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee this past fall. The program has seen tremendous success with its athletes making the important progression from beginner classes to the sport classes.
"It's a great opportunity for these coaches and athletes to share information with each other," explained Bob Marsh of the Salt Lake Community Olympic Development Program. "After just one year since we partnered with The Young Riders, the program has gone beyond our expectations with the athletes doing exceptionally well. It really is a tribute to Kim, Sean McLaughlin and Carter Davis along with a great group of kids."
In only his first year of racing, Park City racer Tyler Fought always wanted to take his riding to the next level and has found great success this season, thanks to The Young Riders training schedule. At races in Brian Head, Fought won the 16-18 sport class and finished second at the Deer Valley race.
Competing in the sport men 13-15 class and in his second year, Ogden rider Dylan Johns enjoys getting coaching on single track techniques and technical riding skills along with increasing his endurance. He has wins at both the Deer Valley and Mammoth NORBA races in the Junior Olympic Men 14 and under class.
"The most rewarding part of what I do is when I see the kids take off at the start," said McLaughlin. "I really am seeing incredible improvement over the season by our riders."
Focusing on individualized attention and a 10-month training schedule, athletes within The Young Riders program get exposure on how to market themselves and the importance of properly representing his sponsors. For six months, they are competing throughout Utah and the Western U.S.
"We expect a high caliber of behavior from our athletes," said Reed. "We want our athletes to become well-rounded individuals."
With 12 athletes in the CODP program, next year's team will likely grow to 15 with an emphasis on getting young women involved.
"With all the excitement focusing on women's sports thanks to the U.S. World Cup team, we are actively recruiting young women on all skill levels into our program," added Reed. For more information on The Young Riders program, contact Kim Reed at 435/655-3871 or www.youngriders.com.