"Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that upon other days and other fields will bear the fruits of victory."
- General Douglas MacArthur
It's not about the bike. It's about self-discipline and personal courage, about mental toughness and commitment to self improvement, about dedication to a team and a passion for success... It's about leadership development.
General MacArthur and other prominent Academy leaders understood the importance of athletic competition in enhancing leadership development and potential. The West Point Cycling Team is just one of many opportunities at the United States Military Academy developing the best of our nation's youth into leaders of character.
Established in 1974, the United States Military Academy (USMA) Cycling Team at West Point has the mission of developing cadet cyclists into warrior athletes capable of competing and winning at regional and national collegiate competitions in the cycling disciplines of track, cyclo-cross, and road racing. The team also serves to develop leaders of character who are capable of planning, coordinating, and executing complex operations as a cohesive unit, as well as thinking and acting appropriately under stress.
Sanctioned under USA Cycling, collegiate cycling is a team-oriented athletic competition with participants ranging from beginner to pro level athletes. Competition occurs year round in four different cycling disciplines (Track, Mountain, Cyclo-cross and Road) each with its won national championship at which points toward a national team ranking are awarded. USA Cycling has two collegiate divisions divided by student enrollment (DI schools have student populations greater than 15,000 & DII have student populations of less than 15,000) and 11 conferences with over 300 participating schools & universities. West Point competes in the cycling disciplines of track, cyclo-cross and road as a DII school in the Eastern Cycling Collegiate Conference.
Cadet cyclists develop into warrior athletes through an intense tiered development program that enhances their leadership, skill and athletic progression. Throughout each level of development, cadet cyclists must demonstrate mental & physical toughness while developing team strategy & tactics that capitalize on their team's strengths and overcome their limitations in order to persevere in the challenges of a tough competitive team sport.
Academy & team experiences aid in the development of our members from cadets into leaders of character. Members of the West Point Cycling Team plan prepare and execute every race as a mission: planning operation orders, briefing these orders, conducting pre-competition inspections and after-action reports as well as developing team race strategy and tactics.
All of this is done with the intent that the cycling team experience prepares members to fight in the field well after they are done fighting on the road. Dedicated staff and faculty members provide leadership, mentorship, and camaraderie and support the growth of our cadet leaders.
The valuable lessons learned from cycling athletic competitions & the team leadership opportunities have direct military relevance. Cadets train & race as cohesive units to achieve success on the athletic field as they will on the battle field. A testimony from CPT Tim Holland ('06 team captain) affirmed the beneficial impact his team experience had on his military development asserting upon his return from a combat tour that his experiences as a member & leader of the team greatly enhanced his abilities to lead his troops during his tour in Afghanistan.