Q: What are the advantages of being on a team?
A: Bike racing is a team sport. Teammates in a race can help you save energy, stay safe and put you in the right position to win. Racing as a member of a team can be far more rewarding because each team member plays a different role in the success of the team. Being on a team can also help make riding and racing easier. Team Young Medalists gets discounts on all sorts of products, we organize lodging for major races (National Road & Track Championships, Green Mountain Stage Race, Tour de Syracuse, etc.). In addition, entry to some of the biggest races is by team invitation only. Perhaps the best part of being on a team though is to meet and interact with other riders and families. Most cyclists find that they enjoy the sport much more when they have a network of friends that also participate.
Q: How is Junior racing different from Senior/Category racing?
A: First off, juniors are restricted in their gearing. This is done in order to protect riders' growing bodies (knees in particular), teach proper pedaling technique and level the playing field between more physically developed young riders and those that are not as developed. The junior gear restrictions can be found in the USA Cycling rulebook, section 1I4. Juniors race by age group rather than category. In bigger junior races, juniors are split into 2-3 year age groups (e.g. Boys 10-12, Boys 13-14, Boys 15-16, Men 17-18, Girls 10-12, Girls 13-14, Girls 15-16, Women 17-18) but many smaller races will not have as many separate categories (e.g. Boys 10-18, Girls 10-18). Since junior races usually include all categories (Cat. 1-5), there are often large discrepancies in junior fields. Most juniors race a combination of category races and junior races throughout the season, although they must abide by junior gear restrictions even when racing in category races.
Q: How is Young Medalists different from other teams?
A: First, we use more of our sponsorship money for coaching and team direction for riders as opposed to bikes, equipment, clothing and entry fees. This is because we believe that it's important to learn the fundamentals of riding and racing first. Sponsorship is a privilege, not a right. For 10-14 year olds, the team subsidizes one indoor, track or road group training session per week.
Q: What is the difference between Team Young Medalists and Young Medalists High Performance (YMHP)?
A: Young Medalists High Performance is the junior coaching program started by May Britt Hartwell/Valand and currently owned/operated by Colin Sandberg. Group training sessions and race direction is provided by YMHP and most of the older riders on the team are coached by YMHP. However, YM team members are not required to use YMHP coaching services, and YMHP athletes are not required to ride for the YM Team. If you have questions about YMHP or you are interested in beginning a YMHP coaching program, please contact Colin Sandberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling him at (330) 647-3977.
Q: Are you a road team or a track team or both?
A: Both. Since we are based out of the Lehigh Valley close to the Valley Preferred Cycling Center, we are able to support strong road and track programs. Many of our riders compete in Mountain Biking, Cyclocross, Triathlon and BMX as well, but all of our team events are road and track races.
Q: Are you an elite racing team or a club team or both?
A: Both. We don't consider ourselves exclusively "an elite team" or "a beginner team". There are many possible directions. Our goal is not to steer you in the direction we want you to go, but to help you find where you want to go, simply show you the way, and support you as best we can.
Q: What if I don't live in the Lehigh Valley and cannot attend any of the training sessions?
A: We have team members that live in Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre, and Philadelphia. Some riders drive an hour each way once or twice per week in order to attend practices. However, we also offer training sessions in Philadelphia and Harrisburg as well as indoor training sessions that can be followed online.
Q: What is the difference between the Red Jerseys and the Blue Jerseys?
Q: What if I want to try out cycling but I don't have a bike?
A: If you are interested in trying out cycling and you don't have a bike, the team also has a number of road and track bikes available for use by any team members. For information on the availability and sizes of available bikes, please contact Lisa at email@example.com.
Q: How do I sponsor the team?
A: If you are interested in becoming a product or financial sponsor of our team, please contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org. Although we greatly value our current sponsors, we would love to ease the financial burden of families that want to be involved in our expensive sport. In particular, we would like to be able to provide more opportunities for underprivileged youth, make coaching completely free to team members and help subsidize trips to races in other parts of the country and the world.
Q: What happened to May Britt?
A: May Britt Hartwell/Våland moved back to her native Norway in 2011. She currently runs May Britt Våland Coaching and she still takes an active role in both YMHP and the YM Team. She can be reached at email@example.com