USA Cycling awarded nine regional athlete development programs with US$27,500 in cash grants through its Centers of Excellence program. Wednesday's winners were the Young Medalists Cycling Team, Lehigh Wheelman Future Champions, Fulton Flyers Cycling Club, Tri Star Cycling Team, Rad Racing, Orlando Road Club, Des Moines Cycle Club, Team Swift, and Northern California Cycling Foundation.
The Young Medalists Cycling Team, operating under the Lehigh Valley Cycling Club (LVCC) in Pennsylvania, won its first grant. Formed in 2006, the relatively new development team, which collaborates with the Lehigh Wheelmen Future Champions, features 23 young athletes focused on qualifying for international racing activities through National Championship results. Two of its riders won a combined five medals at the US National Championship events in the past two years and one rider, 17 year-old Lanell Rockmore represented the US at the Junior World Championships in 2007.
The Fulton Flyers Cycling Club of Atlanta, Georgia, and the TriStar Cycling Team, based in Nashville, Tennessee were also named first-time grant winners. Both focus on junior and U23 riders. The Fulton Flyers has 23 athletes participating in road, track and cyclo-cross competitions, and collectively this group scored eight top-10 finishes in National Championship events in 2007.
As a larger club, TriStar had 108 licensed members, with 26 under the age of 23 in its development programs. This year's "elite" junior team of nine riders attended the Fitchburg-Longsjo Cycling Classic, national camps and the National Championships. The squad promotes the annual Edgar Soto Memorial Stage race and a Share the Road campaign. The team plans to expand its numbers in 2008.