Youth cycling teams compete at Jingle Cross bike event in Iowa

by Beverly Van Buskirk, LeMars Sentenial

This weekend, nineteen members of the Central Junior Cycling Devo Dirt Militia, from LaMars, IA. are heading to Iowa City to compete in Jingle Cross, a cyclocross event.

“There will be over 2,000 participants at Jingle Cross,” said Monte Brent, one of the coaches for the team.

These Central Junior Cycling Devo's are making it over some obstacles in training for the seasons grand finale. (photo from Central Junior Cycling Devo facebook)

These Central Junior Cycling Devo’s are making it over some obstacles in training for the seasons grand finale. (photo from Central Junior Cycling Devo Facebook)

The bicyclists ride on a closed-circuit course. Each competitor will earn points during the three-day competition, for a cumulative score.

“Our kids will be racing against some of the nation’s best,” said Brent.

The competitors will come from Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa.

Categories are junior boys 9-12, junior boys 13-15, junior boys 16-18, junior girls 9-13 and junior girls 14-18.

The weekend’s competition also includes adult races.

“Our kids are having a good time with cyclocross,” Brent said.

This year there are 65 youth in the program, with about 30 of them real regulars, according to Brent.

Coaches for the team are Dale Hurt, Teresa Ferguson, Paul Sunde, Scott Feuerhelm and Brent.

Central Junior Cycling Devo members range in age from 8 to 17.

“For us, it’s more about participation,” said Brent. “Great things happen. It’s not always about racing or the bicycle, it’s about a great team individual sport.”

These Central Junior Cycling Devo's are intent on racing the course, in training for the seasons grand finale. (photo from Central Junior Cycling Devo facebook)

These Central Junior Cycling Devo’s are intent on racing the course, in training for the seasons grand finale. (photo from Central Junior Cycling Devo facebook)

He added strong community support, from parents to businesses, has helped the club develop and be able to participate in events.

The cyclocross season runs from August through December, according to Brent.

Team members have raced several times in Minneapolis, as well as Knoxville, Iowa, Omaha, Nebraska, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Some even went to La Cross, Wisconsin, Brent said.

He describes the Iowa City race as a regional event.

He added Le Mars is fortunate to have the number of participants it does.

“We’re really small town compared to many of the clubs,” he said.

Brent encourages youth to join in the cycling fun.

For information contact Brent at mtsllajbrent@hotmail.com or call Bike Central at 712-540-7076.

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