Several accomplished U.S. female cyclists who are better known for their accolades on the road will be attending an track endurance camp from January 23-29 in Carson, California. The camp, which will culminate with time trial competitions at the ADT Event Center velodrome, will prepare riders for the final opportunity to gain entry into USA Cycling's Track Talent Pool and thus be eligible for the World Championships in March.
Three-time U.S. National Time Trial Champion Kimberly Baldwin (nee Bruckner) (Boulder, Colo.), current national time trial champion and 2004 Olympian Christine Thorburn (Menlo Park, Calif.), two-time U.S. National Criterium Champions Tina Pic (Dahlonega, Ga.) and Laura Van Gilder (Pocono Pines, Pa.) and reigning national champion and 2004 U.S. Olympic Team member Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho) are among the 12 athletes that are scheduled to attend.
The camp is part of an effort by USA Cycling to broaden the scope of its endurance track program. "The camp really marks the first step with regards to where we're going with our endurance track program", explained Pat McDonough, Director of Track Programs for USA Cycling. "Ultimately, we would like to include track cycling into an all-inclusive endurance plan that further develops the phenomenal athletic talents of our best athletes regardless if their primary discipline is road, mountain or track. Ideally, exposure to the track is something we would like to feature in all of our junior, U23 and women’s camps in the future."
As track cycling at the international level morphs into a winter sport, a stronger emphasis will be placed on grooming well-established endurance riders after the traditional competition season comes to a close in October. As McDonough explains, the real focus is on the 2006 track season and beyond. "We're off to a good start with this camp and we've had a tremendous response from many of our top women. Looking ahead, we really hope and expect to have greater depth in our endurance program as a result."
Also attending will be Rebecca Much (Chicago, Ill.), who introduced herself to the international cycling community last October with a silver medal in the junior women’s time trial at the World championships. Junior points race World champion in 2003, Larssyn Staley (Beaverton, Ore.), and domestic road pros Kathryn Curi (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Candice Blickem (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Lauren Franges (Barto, Pa.) and Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo.) will also take part as will U23 riders Brad Armstrong (Burleson, Texas), Steven Cozza (Petaluma, Calif.) and John Murphy (Marietta, Ga.).
The time trial event, scheduled for 11:00am on January 29, will include a 500 metre and three-kilometer time trial for the women and a one-kilometer and four-kilometer time trial for the men. Winning riders who meet the time standards set forth by USA Cycling will automatically qualify for the talent pool.
All USA Cycling members with a pro, category one, or category two road or track license are invited to compete. For more information and an event schedule, visit www.usacycling.org