The USAC Jr. Devo team put together by BMX legends Dale Holmes and Jaime Staff has really started to garner some attention. The elite group of four riders continue to impress with their performance. Most recently, Dale and the crew worked with Director Justin Kosman to put together an edit with one of their main sponsors, Mercedes-Benz of San Diego. We have the edit below, but we also did a Q&A with Dale about the program to give you some more insight.
RIDE: Explain what the team is and who it consists of…
Dale: The goal of the US Jr. Devo Team is to not only help cultivate riding talent for the next Olympic Cycle, but also to expose them to what’s expected both on and off the track. They not only have proper nutrition and coaching but also they’re schooled on how to show value for sponsors and how to keep them involved. Let’s face it, without sponsorship – the program and funding isn’t possible.
Colin Whittington ~ 17-18x ~ Riverside, Ca
Kamren Larsen ~ 17-18x ~ Bakersfield, Ca
Noah Ramos ~ 16x ~ Meadow Vista, Ca
Payton Ridenour ~ 15 Girls ~ Pottstown, PA
RIDE: Tell us about the video and your motivation behind creating it?
DALE: Justin Kosman has worked alongside our team all year to capture our progress. After purchasing a Mercedes Sprinter van for the team, Mercedes Benz of San Diego reached out and said they had an allocated marketing budget and wanted to partner with our team. They believed in it, and also feel their product is a good lifestyle fit with what we’re doing. The goal of the video was to showcase our Jr. development team in action. We also wanted to highlight how Mercedes Benz of San Diego fits in as a sponsor.
RIDE: Do you feel BMX needs more programs like this to continue growing?
DALE: I think for sure BMX racing is shifting back to a grass roots level. That’s where it starts and it’s easier to build from there. There’s no magical formula that will make BMX racing as big as it was in the peak years of the 80s & 90s. If we all do our bit instead of complaining on social media, it can only be positive. I feel programs like ours with the goal of helping riders make the transition from top expert into Pro Elite, with potential Olympic opportunities in sight, can only help us grow the sport.
RIDE: What do you hope to accomplish with this program you are doing?
DALE: We want to teach the kids not just to go fast, but how to be professional. How to build relationships with sponsors, how to conduct themselves on social media, how to travel, the importance of personal branding, and what the big picture looks like. What having a Pro career looks like and what’s expected but not to forget to teach the kids to have fun along the journey.
RIDE: Can you explain some of the partnerships you have created to help support?
DALE: I guess being in the industry as a rider and team manager over the years building relationships and working with a lot of the same brands and people has benefited me. Many of these people are not just sponsors, they are long term friends and we’ve built great relationships. I talked to Jamie Staff about the idea last year (Team USA BMX Director) specifically about collaborating with him, myself and bringing some sponsors to the table. It’s great to have his support on the USA Cycling side and building a new program with both national team and industry support.
RIDE: How can people get ahold of you to find out more about the program and become a part of it?
DALE: Anyone can reach out to our social media pages or visit our website. Links below…
Facebook: Dale Holmes Racing
USA Cycling, Haro Bikes, RockStar Energy, Barona Casino, Mercedes-Benz of San Diego, WD40 Bike, Ride 100 percent, Answer Racing, Shimano, ODI Grips, Box Components, USA BMX, Stealth Hubs, Wheelbuilder.com, KMC Chains.
U.S. JR. DEVELOPMENT & MERCEDES-BENZ OF SAN DIEGO FEATURE