It’s a dream for young bike racers all around the world: to race in the pro peloton. But realizing that dream is far from easy. Even for the most talented riders, the odds are stacked against them. Competition is fierce. It takes physical gifts, but that’s just the start.
Giant’s Grassroots program was created to help give a diverse group of young riders an inside view of how a professional team operates. At the same time, it’s giving the Giant-sponsored Spanish Team Kern Pharma a chance to scout new talent in a non-traditional way.
It started with a collaborative effort between Kern Pharma and Giant representatives around the world. They worked together to identify young talent from different countries, especially those outside the typical pipelines of established junior national programs.
After a list of potential riders was created, Kern Pharma coaches analyzed the data and helped select seven racers, ages 16-22, to participate in an initial team camp in Spain. The riders came from a variety of nations including Taiwan, China, Uganda, Denmark, the Netherlands and the U.K. Those riders attended the initial 14-day training camp. From there, three were chosen to continue with the program.