Andrie Sponsors Junior Development Program

MUSKEGON, Michigan - Andrie Inc. is the title sponsor of the West Michigan Coast Riders (WMCR) / Andrie Junior Development Program. This cycling program teaches kids teamwork and develops them into better riders all while promoting a healthy lifestyle.

The team is made up of 11 riders, both male and female, between the ages of 13 and 18 from all over West and Northern Michigan and is managed by Brant Hendler. Hendler is a former 4-time National Cycling Champion and served on the coaching staff at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He has worked with several riders who earned individual collegiate National Championships and also helped coach the team to overall National Championships in 1999 and 2000. After departing the University of Colorado-Boulder, Hendler returned to Michigan where he helped establish the WMCR / Andrie Junior Development Program that has helped several riders advance into elite and professional cyclists.

In the sport of bicycle racing, there are five main categories of riders. They range from Category 5, which are beginners, where all ages can compete, and progress up to Category 1, a professional racer. In addition to the five ability classes there are also two age classifications, juniors, ages 10 to 18 and masters ages 35 and above. In these races, juniors and masters compete against other riders in the same age range irrespective of their category levels. The juniors are divided into age increments that increase every two years, starting with 10-12, 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18. Masters categories step up in five year increments starting with 35-39 and so on.

During the 2012 season, the team will compete at three major regional races, the Quad-Cities Criterium, the Tour of Battenkill, and the U.S.A National Junior Road Race, along with several other local races throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. The Tour of Battenkill is credited as America’s largest single day road race. This race took place in Cambridge, NY on April 14th. The team placed three riders in the top five.

The West Michigan Stage Race took place in Ada, Michigan on May 19th and 20th. Many of the junior racers opted to race in their senior categories, however, the WMCR / Andrie Junior Team was still able to field strong riders in the junior classes with the team placing four riders in the top five.

On June 18th the team left for Augusta, GA to compete in the US Jr. Road Race National Championship. Overall the team ended up with two top five’s, three top ten's, one top fifteen, a thirtieth and a thirty-sixth.  Not bad for a first National Championship race!

Cycling is a very good way to build character, confidence and responsibility. It is also is a great way to stay healthy and in shape. Cycling helps improve your cardiovascular fitness along with reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. It also builds strength and muscle tone. It is a great low impact exercise for those with joint conditions or injuries to their hips or legs. Cycling has also been associated with increased ‘life-years’, improving coordination, mental health and the immune system.

The WMCR / Andrie Junior Development Program gives kids a chance to become stronger riders and helps to prepare them to compete at higher levels. In some cases, riders will obtain cycling scholarships to compete at various colleges across the country. Andrie is a proud sponsor of this program and we hope this will encourage some of you to get out and ride! 

If anyone is in one of these areas and would like to see a bike race or just cheer the team on feel free to stop by.

Upcoming Race Schedule:

  • Jul 14    08:00 a.m.   S. Main Street, Plainwell, MI
  • Jul 29    08:00 a.m.   On the streets of downtown Milford, MI
  • Aug 11  11:00 a.m.   Union Street, Traverse City, MI
  • Aug 12  09:00 a.m.   Sugar Loaf Mountain Road, Cedar, MI
  • Aug 19  08:30 a.m.   Downtown East Grand Rapids, MI