Goal is to Win Gold in 2028 and Beyond
Today, USA Cycling announces that Bentonville, Arkansas, will become the official “Home of the U.S. National Mountain Bike Team,” as young athletes set their sights on success leading into 2028.
The U.S. National Mountain Bike Team will utilize Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas’ network of trails and gravel for endurance fitness camps as well as skills-development camps leading into the World Cup racing season. In addition to National Team camps, USA Cycling will also host mountain bike and road Junior Talent Identification and Skills Camps in Bentonville.
The camps are made possible through a philanthropic investment by the Walton Family Foundation at the direction of Steuart Walton and Tom Walton; the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation; and the Penner Family Foundation.
“Our long-term goal is for Team USA to win the gold at the 2028 Olympic Games,” said Brendan Quirk, CEO of USA Cycling “This investment gives us access to the infrastructure and resources we need to support our Under-23 and Junior riders. Developing these up-and-coming riders is a top priority for USA Cycling, now and in the future.”
“Having training and support facilities based in Bentonville will provide our riders with an ideal launching pad to succeed on the world stage,” said Jim Miller, Chief of Sports Performance at USA Cycling.
In addition to serving as the center for its mountain bike operations, the city will also become the national base for its collegiate cycling operations and other functions related to the growth of grassroots bike racing across the country.
“Northwest Arkansas’ incredible network of singletrack trails and gravel roads is the perfect training ground for the National Team,” Quirk said. “Our riders love racing and training in Northwest Arkansas. By deepening our presence here, we’ll make it easier for riders at all levels to get access to our racing development pathway and pursue their athletic goals.”
Steuart Walton, Tom Walton, Greg Penner and Rob Walton are themselves avid cyclists and passionate competitors.
“Northwest Arkansas, which we affectionately call OZ, is becoming a cornerstone of the U.S. mountain bike racing scene,” said Steuart Walton. “When you add in world cyclo-cross events and epic gravel riding, you can see how the region is becoming more than a tourism destination. Our hometown is quickly becoming a global hub for both professional cyclists and emerging talent to develop to their fullest potential in the Mountain Biking Capital of the World.”
“Investing in collegiate cycling is a priority for this effort,” said Tom Walton. “We believe Bentonville is a natural host for this program and are confident this will elevate USA Cycling on the global stage.”
USA Cycling’s corporate headquarters is in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It also has a European logistics base and rider housing in Sittard, Netherlands. The Bentonville satellite office will further accelerate the growth of elite American mountain bike athletes and will provide workspace for the mountain bike coaching and support staff.
Mountain Biking in Bentonville
Bentonville is known as the Mountain Biking Capital of the World and headquarters OZ Trails™, a world-class network of shared-use trails throughout Northwest Arkansas. Containing more than 300 miles of soft-surface trails, this innovative network is accessible to mountain bikers, gravel riders, runners, and outdoor adventurers of all ages and skill levels.
Posted on December 15, 2022, by Brandy Bartholomew.
For more information contact: brandy.bartholomew@4media-group