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‘Cross foundation seeks funds to send three U.S. riders to worlds

By Tim Johnson VeloNews Interactive

With budget concerns limiting USA Cycling’s support of a national cyclo-cross team at world championships in Tabor, Czech Republic, February 3-4, the American Cyclo-cross Foundation has launched a last-minute drive to raise enough money to field an eight-person squad. USA Cycling is funding trips for five riders: one elite man, one elite woman, one under-23 man, and two juniors. The ACF is attempting to raise enough money for three additional riders, at an estimated cost of $1500 per rider.

The American Cyclo-cross Foundation is a private group set up to funnel donations from cyclo-cross fans to world’s-bound racers. (ACF board members include Patrick O’Grady, a contributor to VeloNews, and VeloNews technical editor Charles Pelkey). The group has $2745 on hand and has begun an 11th-hour campaign to raise the additional $1755 needed to add these three riders to the U.S. team.

“Clearly, we’re a small-time outfit,” said O’Grady. “But every penny we raise goes to the riders. The ACF board of directors takes no administrative expenses from donations; indeed, several of us are donors like everyone else.”

The ACF distributed more than $4500 in donations from cyclo-cross supporters to the athletes who either represented the United States at the 2000 world cyclo-cross championships in the Netherlands, or went overseas to race to test themselves against the European peloton. Grant recipients have included Johnny Sundt, Jed Sheckler, Jen Dial, Alan Obye, Carmen Richardson, Alex Candelario, Emily Thorne, Justin Thompson and Tim Johnson.

For more about the ACF and its mission, e-mail O’Grady at ogrady@maddogmedia.com, or see the foundation’s Web sites at http://www.maddogmedia.com/acf.html or http://www.maddogmedia.com/crossnet.acf.html.

Funds to support world’s-bound racers may be sent in care of the American Cyclo-cross Foundation, account number 103-555-5, Colorado Mountain Bank, 1000 Main Street, Westcliffe, CO 81252. Be sure to include the ACF’s account number on your checks.