Over 25 years of racing, WORS has fostered young riders and worked to create more and better opportunities for juniors to race. With one of the highest counts of riders 18 and under in the nation, WORS works hard to create opportunities for young riders. WORS Director, Don Edberg is also one of the founders of the Wisconsin High School Cycling League and he coaches with his local high school team. Don has put the full resources of WORS behind the new high school league and sees WORS as the perfect environment for young riders to prepare for interscholastic competition, share racing experiences with other family members, and continue to enjoy mountain bike racing post high school.
To learn more about the Wisconsin High School Cycling League visit them at wisconsinmtb.com. Are you interested in starting or becoming involved with a team in your area? Please contact Kathy Mock at Kathy@wisconsinmtb.org.
WORS offers Juniors of all abilities a racing experience appropriate to their levels of skill and fitness. WORS welcomes Junior girls and boys of every ability level. Beginning racers of all ages are encouraged to attend our free Learn to Race Clinic – note that those 11 and under must be accompanied by an adult capable of riding with throughout the clinic. Advanced junior riders can find a level of competition at WORS that has helped to develop young athletes into some of the strongest collegiate and professional MTB competitors in the nation. Above all, the family-oriented atmosphere at WORS venues ensures that cyclists and spectators alike will enjoy a weekend of fun together.
- For our youngest competitors, WORS offers the Kid’s Race, here.
- Junior racer 7 to 14 years of age may choose to participate in the Juniors-only races.
- Juniors may also choose to participate in age-class racing on the same course as the adults in WORS Citizen or Sport ability category races.
- Juniors with a strong racing background, over the age of 15 may qualify to race in the Cat 1 class during WORS Elite race.
WORS Juniors Races
Juniors races are for boys and girls of racing age* 7 to 14. Races for this category start at least 30 minutes before the Citizen race and are 4-6 miles in length (generally 1 lap of WORS Citizen course). *Racing age is a rider’s age as of December 31st of the current year.
The guideline for beginning participation in these events is that the child is able to ride 5 miles off road in less than one hour and must be independent enough to compete without direct support from an adult.
WORS Junior Race Sweep
Parents are not permitted to ride with their Junior racers. However, the WORS Juniors race boasts two dedicated volunteers, who follow the racers and can offer assistance, if needed. A video of the Juniors Sweep is below, as well as parent comments collected during the 2011 season.
Our daughter raced this last Sunday in the Junior Female 8 and under category. She had a rough go of it, but finished the race. One of the sweep riders stayed with her the entire race. I don’t know the gentleman’s name that rode with her, but we are very appreciative of his effort. She had been talking about the race for months so it meant a lot to her to finish. She finished the race knowing she was in last place in the overall group. She didn’t realize there were only 2 riders in her age group. The 2nd place medal at the end was a surprise to her. She slept with the medal on last night.
Again, big thanks to the sweep rider that stayed with her.
A thank you note posted at the WORS message board on May 23, 2011:
Hey All! I just wanted to give a big shout out to all those that worked at the Crystal Lake Classic this past weekend. From the WORS Staff to the Camp Tesomas Staff to the Volunteers, top notch! I especially want to thank those Sport riders that swept during the Junior race. My daughter unfortunately flatted halfway through her lap. Being the determined one she is, she decided to push her bike the remaining 2.5 miles to the finish line. The Sweepers, taking time out of their own race prep, stayed with her the whole time. I didn’t catch their names but they definitely earned a little WORS good luck karma!! Please pass this along to them, thanks!! – JayC
Junior racers may choose race at the same time as the adults in either beginner or more advanced categories. Some of our most successful racers in the Citizen and Sport categories are young athletes. In the racer video below, 13-year old Emily S finished second out of 48 women ranging in age from 12 to 55. During their race, she and her closest competitor would catch and pass much of the men’s field. The added challenge of racing with a larger number of competitors is great practice for young athletes, because it helps them to develop tactical skills as well as fitness. The video shows 13-year old Emily and 14-year old Rachael (who won the Ramble) demonstrating excellent passing technique. You’ll also see how quickly gaps close between the two women in the front as they catch slower riders without the opportunity to pass, and how hard they sprint in open passing sections. That’s great racing. Because WORS races as a Series and fosters strong community relationships, the environment for learning and development is an especially positive one for young athletes.