The second stop on this year's NORBA National circuit reaped benefits unique to the national series. All of the event's proceeds are being used to benefit the NOVA Youth Cycling Foundation, a youth mountain bike league that is integral in developing future cycling athletes.
The event, which took place March 18-20, was traditionally known as the NOVA Desert Classic, but it was added to the NORBA National schedule in 2005. Race director Jerry Sieve is also the director of Team NOVA. "The whole purpose of this race in reality was to benefit the youth cycling foundation," he explained. "We're very happy to do this and it is something that is very beneficial to get young people into cycling."
The NOVA Youth Cycling Foundation is strictly youth specific and currently supports young riders in five states. The Team NOVA mountain bike program provides race support, training instruction, and guidance based on a multi-level development system. In addition to these levels of support, the program also awards team participation scholarships on the basis of need. Recipients are able to participate fully in the developmental activities with reduced or no registration fees.
The mission of the NOVA Youth Cycling Foundation is simple: Provide the funding necessary to build structure needed for a national developmental system. Based on the assumption that a large talent pool of young athletes is essential for consistent international success, the foundation strives to search for and create cycling's future stars.
Initiatives are paying off, as evidenced by the results of Team NOVA rider Rachel Throop (Escondido, Calif.). The 16-year-old has been a team member for five years and placed third in last year's junior expert class at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships. 17-year-old Trevor Downing (Crestline, Calif.) won the 2004 California State Championship and 14-year-old Jessica Maier (Glendale, Ariz.) won a national championship jersey in 2004.
To learn more about the NOVA Youth Cycling Foundation, visit www.teamnova.org