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Cycling Team Taking Off in Wellesley

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By Lisa Moore
Hometown Weekly Correspondent

As temperatures warm, flowers bud, birds and animals reemerge from their winter hideaways, and people take to the streets again in a collective sign that spring is near. For many it is a return to a more active outdoor life style, reclaiming their spot along the streets to ride their bicycle.

Between the towns of Wellesley, Weston, Natick, Newton and Needham there are over 400 cyclists that regularly take to the streets. On any given Sunday morning, you can spot the many groups of athletes that meet up to cycle together. Some of these groups meet informally while others are organized teams that compete and train together.

Team Cannondale Sports Lingo Jingo, a new team of cyclists out of Wellesley, are beginning their second year as an organized team. Team Director Josette Chrystall started the team last year after being frustrated that her son and other young riders his age had very few options for joining a team in the area.

“Our focus is on junior development of racers in the four disciplines of riding: road racing, mountain bike racing, cyclo-cross racing and track racing.” she said.

Having grown up in Australia where the sport of cycling is part of the national culture, Chrystall is looking to increase the participation of local youth in the sport of cycling.

“The team and how it runs is unique,” she said. “The kids said they wanted a home base at races, so we got a team tent, some training bikes and a trailer. Now we can provide support at races to help eliminate race day stress. Adult elite racers and parents help address the needs of the team during race day.”

This includes things like making bicycle repairs, providing water and energy packets and cheering on the riders along the racecourse.

Team Cannondale Sports Ling Jingo is already one of the larger racing teams in the area. Currently there are 16 junior racers, boys and girls ages 10 to 18, and 16 senior racers, adults over age 18. The majority of the junior racers on the team are new to the sport with only a year or two of experience.

Preparing for the season means daily training and the team is already six weeks into the season. Preparing for the races, the team meets daily, on weekends, and vacations, with senior riders taking the responsibility of training junior riders. Being a team member means that no one has to train and ride alone and since some training rides can be 80 to 100 miles long and take three hours, it is nice to have teammate support and know that there is always an adult on call to aid in an emergency.
Looking to help riders develop their skills and advance to the next level, team Lingo Jingo has hired professional bicycle racer Adam Myerson as head coach. Myerson is a big name in professional cycling where he specializes in cyclo-cross and criterium racing.

Born in Norwood and now living in Dorchester, Myerson owns and runs a coaching company and coaches some of the top cyclists in the country. Chrystall was excited to have a professional such as Myerson as coach “He liked the focus of team Jingo Lingo and agreed to coach the rag tag team of beginners. He has helped the team learn the ropes of the sport.” She said.

In the continued efforts to expose kids to the sport of cycling and generate excitement among young riders, Chrystall has worked with organizations like MassBike and the New England Bike Riding Association to increase education and awareness of cycling as a sport. In addition, Chrystall has reached out to professional bicycle racers to get their help in promoting the sport to get the next generation of professional racers excited to participate. Professional racers Tim Johnson, Ellen Nobel and Ted King have come out to meet with team members promoting the sport they love.

Team Lingo Jingo has an open enrollment policy and is open to anyone who can ride a bicycle and is looking to be part of a racing team. Anyone interested in joining the team or learning more about it can contact Team Director Josette Chrystall at newenglandracing1@gmail.com.

Lisa Moore is a Correspondent at Hometown Weekly. She can be reached at news@hometownweekly.net.

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