USA Cycling names 2015 Clubs of the Year
In addition to bragging rights, the winning clubs will receive a trophy and complimentary renewal fees for 2016. Congratulations to our winners!
Division I – xXx Racing (Chicago, IL)
Division II – Tulsa Wheelmen (Tulsa, OK)
Division III – Chicago Cuttin’ Crew (Chicago, IL)
Best New Club – GS Andiamo (Redlands, CA)
Junior – El Grupo Youth Cycling Club (Tucson, AZ)
Masters – Big D Cycling (Shawnee, KS)
Women – BFF Bikes (Chicago, IL)
Mountain Bike – Summit – Competitive Cyclist (Park City, UT)
Track – Koochella (Minneapolis, MN)
Collegiate Club- University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
Collegiate Varsity – Marian University (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Here’s a break-down of what our 2015 Clubs of the Year have been up to:
Division I – xXx Racing
Chicago’s xXx Racing took back the Division I title this year due to its involvement in the greater cycling community. The team leads the area’s largest group ride every Saturday morning and members are able to support cycling initiatives in the city by bundling their registration with the Active Transportation Alliance in the Chicago area. In addition the team works to grow and encourage entry level riders by hosting public practice criteriums and hosting women’s only development camps and rides. Their main focus as a club is to provide a welcoming environment for new cyclists while supporting riders as they develop from beginner to elite.
Division II – Tulsa Wheelmen
The Tulsa Wheelmen won the Division II title based on the club’s strong race promotion background as well as dedication in working with youth cycling organizations. The team is heavily involved with the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, which is known as one of the top cycling events in the country and is a part of the National Racing Calendar. The club not only has a strong history of race promotion but club members also volunteer in the Tulsa community with bike-related activities. The Tulsa Wheelmen regularly sponsor group rides, practice criteriums and clincs which focus on teamwork, bike safety and bike skills. From elite racing, to helping get more kids on bikes, the Tulsa Wheelmen club does it all!
Division III – Chicago Cuttin’ Crew
The Chicago Cuttin’ Crew is a small team with a big heart. In the last year alone they raised $4,000 for local youth programs that give back to the community through after school program and group rides. This effort to give back while keeping it fun permeates everything that the club does, from hosting a Sadie Hawkins style ride to benefit the Chicago Women’s Health Center to helping organize a Junior Girls Clinic at the Trek CXC Cup. Teammates often times take on roles in outside organizations as well, from getting involved on the board of the local velodrome to scoring the local track races. As one racer remarked, “watch out for the Cuttin’ Crew, they always punch above their weight.”
Best New Club – GS Andiamo
GS Andiamo is a club on a mission. For the 2015 season, their first year as a fully recognized USA Cycling club, they recruited almost 100 juniors and adults into the club. By hosting group rides for both juniors and the parents, the club goes beyond a typical family ride and opens an opportunity for adults and juniors to learn cycling competencies and share experiences together. This includes going through the Smart Cycling program offered by the League of American Bicyclists. By involving the parents in the process, it creates a new dynamic for the junior program and elevated GS Andiamo to best new club.
Junior – El Grupo Youth Cycling Club
The El Grupo Youth Cycling program has an extended reach to over 1,200 youth in the Tucson area, with a core group of over 100 active riders ages 6 to 18. The club has created a unique niche by being both a cycling club and community athlete organization. In terms of training, the athletes on the team have five practices a week focusing on base training and all the necessary tools needed to race. However, El Grupo also focuses on personal development for the athletes by providing academic tutoring and other checks to ensure that the academic life is progressing with the athletic life. This has paid off with El Grupo riders placing on the podium at nationals and even making it onto the the Team USA Cycling junior team to race in Europe. Beyond that, the club continues to focus on youth in underserved neighborhoods with their events like the Kidical Mass rides and bike safety obstacle courses.
Masters - Big D Cycling
Big D Cycling was started in memory of Dalton Eli Hawkins (Big D) who passed away in 2009. The mission of the team is to promote competitive cycling for anyone and the club does that by hosting races, rider clinics, and various activities benefitting the community. This includes bike safety rodeos in Shawnee and Kansas City where the group has helped kids by fixing up bikes and by donating money to purchase helmets. Not only does Big D cycling give back to the community, but they also host the annual Veterans Cyclo-cross Race on the front yard of the Leavenworth Veteran’s Administration hospital. This, combined with their community activities earned Big D Cycling the title of Masters Club of the Year!
Women – BFF Bikes
BFF Bikes won Women’s Club of the Year by sticking to its mission of making cycling accessible for girls and women of all ages. The women of BFF Bikes do this both on the bike by hosting recreational rides, sponsoring women’s nights at the local velodrome, holding cyclo-cross practices and working with their coach on goal setting; and off the bike by hosting book clubs, fundraising for the local dog rescue, and even hosting watch parties for cycling events like the 2015 La Course race. They turned this watch part into a fundraiser by selling raffle tickets and donating the proceeds for the new Chicago Women’s Elite Cycling team. This dedication to not only their women’s teams, but others in their community is why BFF Bikes is the Women’s Club of the Year.
Track – Koochella
The Koochella club was designed to promote women in cycling with a basis in track racing due to its belief that the track scene is one of the best new racer incubators in the sport. Koochella worked this last year with the National Sports Center Velodrome in Minnesota to grow the women’s racing scene. This paid off as the velodrome now houses two robust women’s fields and continues to grow. The club did this by hosting a women’s introductory skills clinic, focusing on rider retention both on and off the team, and by covering race fees for new women racers. Because of all its efforts to volunteer time and money to the local track scene, Koochella was named track club of the year.
Mountain Bike – Summit – Competitive Cyclist
The Summit Bike Club focuses on the cross-country discipline and with over 100 members it is able to accommodate a wide range of ages, from U13 to U23 and even a Master’s program. Although the group focuses on developing its riders, the club also held public clinics to help educate other riders in the mountain bike community as well as helping to promote the Nordic Valley Stage Race. Through all of this the club works on developing riders both on and off the bike. It has multiple programs to create progression for juniors and this has paid off through its riders competing for national titles as well as attending Worlds as part of Team USA. As one of the few Mountain Bike clubs in Utah, Summit has created its own place in the local community.
Collegiate Club – University of Arizona
The University of Arizona won this year’s Collegiate Club of the Year award through continual commitment to promoting interest and participation in bicycle racing while achieving excellence in the classroom. With a team of 57, it is one of the larger club programs in collegiate cycling and its members run the gauntlet of cycling experience, from beginners to professionals. The team showed its strength with a National Championship for Kyle Trudeau in the single speed cross-country race. Not only are members involved on the bike, but they also support trail build days as well as volunteer sessions with El Grupo Youth Cycling to help tutor and mentor riders.
Collegiate Varsity – Marian University
Marian University continues to excel across all disciplines of cycling, both in terms of racing as well as rider development and event hosting. As the home of the IndyCycloplex , Marian has hosted BMX, track, road and mountain bike races as well as clinics and practice events for the local cycling community. Riders on the Marian team regularly visit FreeWheelin’ Bikes to work with kids at the nonprofit, and give back to the community in other ways through events like the Tour de Cure, the Indiana Sports Corp Corporate Challenge, and a program known as “TeamWorks” that offers local high school students a meaningful and productive work experience in the community . This focus on community outreach, combined with over 31 national team titles is why Marian University won Collegiate Varsity Team of the year.(Dec. 15, 2015) -- USA Cycling is excited to announce the winners of its 2015 Club of the Year awards! Three clubs earned overall Club of the Year honors in divisions I, II, and III and an additional eight clubs earned special awards in the junior, masters’, women’s, new club, mountain bike, track, cyclo-cross, collegiate club, and collegiate varsity categories.
This Article Updated December 17, 2015 @ 03:34 PM For more information contact: