2012 kolo t.c. Year End Awards: Youth Cyclists of the Year

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This is a sport for old, retired people. Let’s take a moment to recognize the young guns keeping the average age down in the double digits. 

Cycling is a sport that isn’t tailor made for young folks. There’s no cheerleading squad or huge crowd watching. There isn’t a pep rally every Friday. Only a few of your friends are doing it and Cindy Perkins would rather date the starting point guard ’cause his mom bought him a car when he turned sixteen ’cause she’s dating the new orthodontist in town….Sorry. Off on a tangent there.

The number of racers on the road, ‘cross and in mountain bike events needs to grow in the Junior divisions, and there’s two great ways to get kids on bikes. The first is to act like the fun-loving, encouraging and mentoring adults we all know we can be. The second, and the much more effective way, is to have a number of great riders that race well, represent the sport even better, and embody cycling at its very best.

kolo t.c. is honored to give some well deserved recognition to two young athletes who have done an awful lot to become great bike racers and even better human beings.

Keegan Korienek, Leadout Racing. Keegan has become one of the most recognizable young riders in the state after an amazing 2012 season. On the mountain bike, he’s already growing into a dominant Junior racer with the ability to ride tight, technical trails and wide-open drag races with equal success. Riding under the tutelage and with the same basic gene make-up as the great Dan Korienek, Keegan has a bright future to look ahead to. But just as importantly, Keegan is one of the most well-spoken, polite and funny young people on the face of this green earth. There’s a lot to look forward to from this great young man.

Honorable Mentions: Ross Gibbs-NCCS, Harrison Webb, Trever Kingsbury-NCCS, Nathaniel Salandha-Hagerty-TOLaw U-25

Zoe Reeves, Einstein Racing. How many racers in the country wear national champion stripes? Now, how many did it before they were 16? Zoe Reeves’ move to Einstein Racing was a big jump that kept her firmly under the wing of Michigan racing maestra Mackenzie Woodring, along with Johanna Schmidt. Zoe made the leap to the big leagues in 2012, racing as dangerous domestique en route to Woodring’s 2012 state road race championship. Her time trial abilities make her a threat at the numerous prologue’s popping up, and her youth team racing is going to make her a hot commodity when the pro contracts start getting tossed around.

Honorable Mentions: Haily Fogo-NCCS, Janelle Cole-West Michigan Coast Riders, Katie Hamel-Rapid Wheelman, Claire Reeves-Einstein Cycles

More Year End Awards all week, with some big ones still to go.

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