World Championship Team Funding
The USA Cycling Athletics department is tasked with sending teams of riders to world championships at the junior and elite level in all five disciplines of the sport: road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a non-profit organization that, unlike many other national cycling federations, receives zero funding from the government, USA Cycling must carefully weigh its budget allocations when it comes to athlete support.
Our philosophy does not center solely on rider support at big international events such as the world championships, but instead takes a holistic approach to development at all levels in an effort to align with our mission of achieving sustained success in international competition. Therefore, funding is spread out among the five disciplines to aid riders at the elite level as well as promising junior and U23 cyclists with the belief that development programs are an integral part of creating world-class cyclists.
By providing young cyclists with the opportunity to train and race outside the United States for extended periods of time, we hope to further their development in a much more sustainable way than if we only fully fund an athlete’s trip to the world championships. While winning rainbow stripes is always a top goal of ours, it is our expectation that athletes chosen to compete for Team USA are adequately prepared for the experience – something that we hope to accomplish by providing them with world-class racing days during the early parts of their season.
2013/14 Cyclo-cross Spending
During the 2013/14 cyclo-cross season, the USA Cycling Athletics department spent $25,000 on development for 23 riders to attend camps, world cups and other races in Europe over a five-month period. We have budgeted $30,000 for the 2014 world championships. To fully fund all 22 riders selected to compete at the world champs, we would have to decrease how much money is used on rider development.
USA Cycling’s athlete selection criteria for the 2014 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships [PDF] lists three funding levels. These levels are awarded to riders based on specified automatic criteria that helps determine medal capability. One way to reach the second level of funding is to achieve a high enough finish at a UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, a race opportunity that many riders rely on USA Cycling funding for. In this way, developmental funding can help offset a rider’s personal world championship costs assuming specific results are achieved.
The third level of funding requires a team service fee of $800 payable to USA Cycling. In exchange for this fee, USA Cycling provides the athletes with all ground transportation to and from the event, food, lodging, TravMed insurance, high-end competition clothing, mechanical and race support, and soigneurs over a five-day period. The $800 fee does NOT cover the total costs USA Cycling incurs to pay for those items. It does help offset costs so that we may send a full team rather than leave allotted spots open in order to more fully fund a smaller group of riders. In addition, at least a dozen riders are being provided housing at our base in the Netherlands between the world cup on January 26 and the Thursday before the world championships.
The selection document also outlines a compensation program for riders making the podium at worlds. A top-three finish will result in USA Cycling refunding a rider’s team service fee (if applicable) as well as fair market value of their economy class round trip airfare to Europe.
Juniors and U23 riders who were selected to the world championships team have also been notified of the opportunity to apply for the USA Cycling Development Foundation’s Edmund R. Burke Travel and Training Grant. Through the generosity of USACDF donors, we’re able to provide grants directly to these riders and help offset costs that aren’t covered by the Athletics department.
2013/14 Cyclo-cross Development Funding
- 16 riders were funded to participate in our summer 'cross camp in Montana (USAC paid room/board; riders paid travel expenses)
- 8 riders (men and women of all levels) received some level of funding during the fall UCI CX World Cup trip
- 2 riders were directly funded for the winter EuroCrossCamp, but the camp as a whole received assistance in the form of vans and equipment
- 3 juniors were fully funded for the Rome World Cup on January 5, 2014
Discipline-Based Budget Allocation
The Athletics department budget is just one part of USA Cycling’s overall budget, and is therefore limited. Spending more money on one discipline’s worlds team would mean taking funds from another athletics program possibly in another discipline. As medal potential and development opportunities ebb and flow, so do athletics expenditures. The organization carefully weighs how our budget will best benefit our riders in both the short-term and the long-term vision of elevating the United States to becoming the most successful country across all five disciplines of competitive cycling.
This Article Published January 18, 2014 For more information contact: