For those that have no idea, what is USA Cycling and what do they do?
USA Cycling is the National Governing Body (NGB – we like our acronyms) designated by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for the sport of cycling in the United States. Our mission is to develop the sport of cycling at all levels and we support all of the major disciplines – road, track, mountain bike, BMX, and cyclocross. We do everything from supporting, training, and selecting the Olympic Team to grassroots development of bike racing and simply participation in cycling. We are funded by the USOC, the USA Cycling Development Foundation (donors), membership, and sponsors. Like the USOC or any NGBs, we do not receive any federal government funding in any way.
How does all of this filter into The Olympics?
As the NGB, we are responsible for selecting the Olympic Team for all Olympic cycling disciplines. With Freestyle now in the Olympics, we will be creating the qualification system for US freestyle riders.
What is USA Cycling relationship with the UCI?
The UCI (Union Cycliste International, in French) is the International Federation (IF) for cycling sports around the world. All cycling NGBs from each country, called National Federations internationally, are members of the UCI. The UCI sets the qualification rules for each cycling discipline and country to qualify athletes for international competitions including the Olympics. In late 2018, the UCI will publish how we qualify as a country and then USA Cycling will create the qualification system for US athlet.
Who are the guys looking after freestyle amongst USA Cycling?
Within USA Cycling, we have the Elite Athletics department that I head up. We work to make sure our top athletes in each discipline have what they need to win medals at World Championships and Olympic Games as well as support a pipeline of athletes who will win medals in the future. We will work with the freestyle community to create the systems to win medals and support a pipeline within freestyle.
To name names, our Vice President of High Performance, Jim Miller, has been working for months already with key members of the freestyle community to learn about the sport and where we have opportunities to help freestyle athletes. Jim has a long history of putting American cycling athletes on the podium at the Olympics and believes we will do so in freestyle as well.
Our CEO is Derek Bouchard-Hall and he has also been very engaged in conversations with the UCI and others involved with freestyle coming onto the Olympic program to make sure that USA Cycling has the resources to put behind the sport when the time is right. Derek is actually related to Eddie Fiola, one of the legends of the sport.
Jamie Staff is our BMX director and is leading our efforts in freestyle. He’ll be attending the World Championships in China in Novembe