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Centers of Excellence

Get to Know Tieni Duro

By: Page Heller  September 13, 2020

Tieni Duro is a Junior Cycling Development Team based out of Lafayette, California with the goal of getting as many kids on bikes as possible and teaching them how to become competitive athletes and high-performing young men and women.

Tieni Duro has a focus on road racing, though some of the kids also race track, cyclocross, cross country, and downhill mountain bike. Tieni Duro alumni have gone on to become collegiate national time trial (TT) champions, U-23 road race and TT Champions, professional coaches, professional racers, and most importantly outstanding adults. More than 95 percent of the young athletes go on to attend colleges and universities and more than half of them continue riding or racing beyond their junior years.

Regardless of their “cycling lives” after junior racing, the young men and women all leave the team as transformed, remarkable athletes and great young people who are dedicated to the heritage of competitive cycling, honoring the values of Tieni Duro, giving back to the club and cycling community, and supporting the team’s coaches and its sponsors.

We had the opportunity to connect with Elaine Ebner, Tieni Duro's President and team Chief Executive, and ask about how cycling has impacted their juniors, their focus for youth development, and what makes Tieni Duro special for the athletes that ride for the team.

How has cycling impacted your young athletes?

Our program is designed to encourage teen athletes to push themselves for the team, not just for themselves. By doing so, they become selfless, they tend to do better academically, they become problem-solvers, they build self-esteem, they learn to work within a team environment, and of course, it benefits them physically. Most importantly is the impact on their life after Tieni Duro. The life-long friendships and connection to the team are amazing. Once you’re a part of Tieni Duro, you are a part of Tieni Duro for the rest of your life.

What is your focus on youth development?

We pride ourselves in providing every athlete who enters our program the opportunity to progress at their own pace. We require a minimum amount of cycling experience before joining, but once they are on the team, it’s up to them how they progress. Many of the teens who enter our program didn’t find a “home” with traditional US ball-and-stick sports, yet they yearned to compete and bond with other teens. There is enough stress in teen's lives, our goal is to provide enough push to encourage their development without too much stress to cause them to disengage.

What makes Tieni Duro Junior Cycling special for the athletes that ride for the team?

In one word, we are family. We are a safe space for teens to open up to others and navigate the crazy teen years. It is our family atmosphere that makes us so special and keeps the “kids” connected to the team well beyond race age 18.

If you are interested in helping clubs like Tieni Duro grow the sport of cycling, please consider donating to the USA Cycling Foundation's Center of Excellence:DONATE HERE

Photos Courtesy of Jason Kent