Development and U23 teams help to promote the sport of professional cycling through charity, sponsorships and recognition for lesser known young cyclists. Younger cyclists can receive support and practice competing with a team and learn how to race in a competitive event. These groups help riders learn the skills and techniques necessary to compete on the level of world-class cyclists. Cyclists such as Pascale Schinder that compete in U23 events are bringing fame to this division. In 2011, Pascale Schinder won the Swiss Championship Time Trial Road Championships with a time of 32 minutes and 36 seconds. As cycling enthusiasts become more aware of these elite teams of young cyclists, the chances for funding these teams and pushing the sport of professional cycling forward increases.
A U23 cyclist to watch is Clara Hughes as she prepares to enter the 2012 Summer Olympics. Female cyclists like Clara Hughes serve as inspiration for younger women involved with U23 teams. By watching her races, they can learn some tricks and techniques to use in their own competitions. U23 teams are increasingly helping to shape the future of cycling as individual cyclists begin to go pro. In the end, this will result in increasing competition, faster times and an improvement in the world of cycling overall.
Campagnolo has become an official sponsor of the Bissel Pro Cycling team in 2012. One of the benefits of having a cycling components company pairing with you, is that the team benefits from the best possible components for any race. As more cycling teams begin to gain recognition, U23 teams can start to get better funding from major corporations.
According to Road News, the goal of many U23 teams is to promote the growth, and guide the professional behavior of young men and women. Since men and women at a young age are still impressionable, the proper morals and values for professional cycling can be guided by professional groups. The camaraderie of working as part of a team helps to build professional skills that will serve them well into the future.
Many of the development and U23 teams sponsor causes. One group, known as Stage17, promotes development of a healthy self-esteem and positive self-image for adolescents. Other teams devote time to breast cancer or support local charities. Cycling is about more than just the cyclists since the funding for cycling teams helps to support local economic growth and provide much-needed charities with funds to continue positive charity work. Stage17 has partnered with large organizations such as TIME, which is a company that provides professional level carbon bike frames and components. The trend towards corporate sponsoring doesn’t just apply to professional organizations.
As more teams sprout up in the world of cycling, there will be an increasing level of sponsors. This provides young cyclists with better opportunities to get the morale, emotional and financial support they need to continue cycling. Additionally, the bicycle component manufacturer, Shimano, sponsors a yearly series championship for U23 cyclists. Winners receive recognition for themselves and their teams and help to guide the future of cycling.