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.
The participating velodromes include the Alkek Velodrome in Houston, Texas, which gained national notoriety last year when track alumnus Lawson Craddock made it the focus of a GoFundMe Campaign linked to his continuing participation in the Tour de France after the EF Education First rider broke his scapula on the first day of the three-week race.
The three other velodromes in the program, which includes annual grants, are the Dick Lane Velodrome in Atlanta, Georgia; the Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome in Seattle, Washington; and the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania.
"After reaching out to the four new ODP Training Centers, I am excited to see what we can all do in 2019," said Travis Smith, regional development track manager for USA Cycling's Olympic Development Track Program. "Knowing that this is only the first step in many, I am happy to have such great people and velodromes that share in our passion for track cycling."
USA Cycling says the goals for each development center are to support club and coach development, increase access to fun training experiences for juniors, create more opportunities to identify high-potential athletes and to promote high levels of participation at the USA Cycling Track National Championships.
Joan Hanscom, executive director of Valley Preferred Cycling Center, said the iconic venue is excited to be an Olympic Development Program Training Center.
"The future of track cycling in the US is dependent on ensuring our young riders have access to quality and positive training opportunities, and we are excited to work alongside the team at USA Cycling to create pathways for junior athletes to fulfill their dreams," Hanscom said.
Although the anonymous donor's funding got the program started, USA Cycling says additional resources will be needed to fully establish and expand the program. USA Cycling is seeking donations and sponsorships to help the program reach its full potential.
Donors who are interested in supporting the Olympic Development Program, or other USA Cycling elite athlete development programs, are encouraged to visit the USA Cycling Foundation web page. Those wishing to get involved in the Olympic Development Program, grow the clubs or race programs, can learn more at the USA Cycling Team USA – Track page under ‘Development Pathway.’
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