By Eddie Monnier
While US juniors performed admirably taking three medals at Junior Worlds this past summer, the Elite Worlds have not gone well for the US. Cyclingnews had an opportunity to speak for a few minutes with Gerard Bisceglia, CEO of USA Cycling. When asked about his thoughts on the host country's results, he responded, "Right off the bat, it's time to announce we've hired Gary West, one of the top coaches in the world, responsible for making the Australian sprint program what it is today... He was there at the beginning, and he's done a wonderful job in Japan the last few years to bring that program back to a respectable level." West will oversee the US sprint program and work closely along side Pat McDonough, Director of Track Cycling.
"We're proud people," Bisceglia added. "It's disappointing to perform as poorly as we have when worlds are on foreign soil, but when it's in our own country, right here at home, it's embarrassing."
USA Cycling is especially looking to improve its women's track program. "I think of track cycling along four components: Sprint, Endurance, Men and Women. Our best opportunity for immediate results is women's endurance," Bisceglia said. "As far as women's sprint go, we have a university here where this track is located, with 20,000 students, of which 70 percent are women. We need to tap into that market."
Another key issue of US Track Cycling is its development program. "Marty Nothstein is finishing his incredible career today. It's sad when two of our oldest riders, ready to retire, are still our best. We don't have any stock to replenish from. We have some good riders, but not enough. We need more riders to push each other," explained Bisceglia.
And while West and McDonugh have their work cut out for them, there's only one way to go - and that's up the rankings.