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Centers of Excellence

Get to Know Dave Jordan Junior Development

By: Page Heller  October 14, 2020

Dave Jordan Junior Development is a mountain biking team based out of New York City.

They currently have sixteen riders and plan to expand into all other disciplines of cycling to keep kids engaged year-round. The team has a goal of helping young athletes make a positive impact on the world.

We got the opportunity to connect with Angel Vides, Head Coach for DJR, and ask him about how the team was formed, their future goals, and team values.

Creation of Dave Jordan Racing

Dave Jordan began racing bicycles when he was 11-years-old and developed into an exceptional elite cyclist. During his career, he won eight New York State Championships and was a three-time medalist at the Masters National Championships. He joined the Century Road Club Association in 1987 and started the team in 2010 after more than 20 years as an elite racer and coach.

Dave was an all-around rider, competing and winning in track and road events such as points, pursuit, team sprint, time trial, and road race. He raced on more than a dozen teams including the US National Team in Panama and the Dominican Republic; and elite amateur cycling club teams in Belgium and France.

As a coach, he helped athletes on all levels, from junior first-time racers to elite riders pursuing Masters National and World Championships. As well as developing local and regional amateur riders into accomplished racers, Dave coached cycling and triathlon professionals. He also developed the New York University and Western Washington University collegiate cycling programs.

Dave passed away from complications due to a brain tumor in 2012. He is remembered for his dedication to life, laughter, his family, and a day on the bike.

[ANGEL:] After he passed away, because of illnesses at such a young age, they started a foundation. They created the Dave Jordan racing team because Dave Jordan himself was somebody that helped a lot in developing the road racing scene in New York. He coached many cyclists and reached a lot of people all over the state.

Angel has been a NICA coach for about six years and wanted to find a way to keep young cyclists motivated, and engaged year-round, which led him to want to coach for Dave Jordan Junior Development.

[ANGEL:] This is a very new team, it was actually formed during the pandemic. Although we are mainly a mountain biking team, many of our cyclists take part in road-based training. I want kids to see that cycling does not have to stop for them after high school. They can earn a scholarship, pursue an education, all the while, taking part in a sport they are passionate about. Road cycling and cyclocross are great for fitness and help athletes perform better in the mountain biking discipline.


[ANGEL:] On a personal level and not a representation of the team,
I hope to share all the knowledge that I have, with kids that are receptive to taking it. I am an old school mountain biker and by old school, I mean that I learned the hard way on inexpensive bicycles on open trails. I'm not from the United States, I am from El Salvador, and I experienced trails that were part of farms and coffee plantations. There was no instruction, there was no YouTube, you just learned the hard way.

I want young cyclists to take their passion for the sport, and respect the sport, respect the other people involved, respect people that build trails so that they can enjoy them. I want to see them grow, not just in mountain biking, but in all aspects of cycling. Once you play a sport, you have less time for nonsense, you gain higher self-esteem, that feeling that you're part of a team, part of something bigger than yourself. You manage your time better when you are a student-athlete. My goal is to see them contribute to the world in a positive way.

For the team, I want to keep kids engaged all year so that they become better all-around cyclists. Cycling is an amazing sport because it gives all kids an opportunity. It does not matter what your skill level is, it does not matter what your fitness level is, you won't miss out on playing time or get benched, you're just going to get better, remain active, and experience the value of being on a team.

In addition to coaching, Angel is a part-time mechanic at a friend's bike shop. He loves working on bikes and hopes to share this other type of knowledge with his team as well. He also has a background in industrial psychology.

[ANGEL:] Understanding the mechanical aspects of a machine, in this case, the bike, opens your mind to understanding certain things better, not just mechanically- but kinesthetic intelligence, for example. Athletes have to understand their body mechanics on a deeper level.

Team Values

[ANGEL:] First of all, I want the juniors to understand and demonstrate respect to all. You may criticize your teammates, but make it constructive. We expect everyone to carry their own weight, for example, we want the older kids to help the younger, or less-skilled athletes. We want to have a community-based culture. Everyone should help and contribute in some way, shape, or form. Even parents can contribute. Are they a bike mechanic, sports psychologist, nutritionist, please tell us. This helps expand everyone's knowledge and everyone can feel more involved.