El Grupo Newsletter ~ Special Edition
Summer, 2014
6 El Grupo Riders Need Your Help Getting to Tour de l'Abitibi
You can help make this unprecedented opportunity a dream come true
Six El Grupo youth cyclists were recently selected to represent the United States at the Tour de l’Abitibi (Quebec, Canada) in July. The Tour de l’Abitibi is the largest, most prestigious junior’s 17-18 race in the Americas and is only one of 7 competitions in the circuit of the UCI Junior Nations Cup to be presented outside of Europe.
El Grupo has never had so many riders participate and qualify for the race.
“The selection camp they attended in Flagstaff with USA Cycling in June had fierce competition that flew in from across the country,” El Grupo director Daniela Diamente said. “It is unprecedented that this many young riders from the same town and the same team make this selection.”
The riders selected are: Daniel Son, Nicholas Harris, Keenan & Ben Duncan, Christian Santa Cruz, and Logan Boyd.
“Each of these young men are ‘pure products’ of El Grupo’s system having been introduced to road bikes for their first time through us,” Head Coach Ignacio Rivera de Rosales said.
 “Each of these young men have worked tremendously hard over the years, overcoming many obstacles in their lives, and have found a path through El Grupo and riding bikes,”  “And they are fast!” But we need your help to get them to Canada!
The trip to the race will cost on average $3,500 for each rider. They have all set up crowdfunding sites to help raise money, and El Grupo is committed to raising the additional funds. We need YOU to help us make sure they all get there! 
DONATE NOW and add "Canada" as the purpose of donation. Simple as that. 

Meet these young men below. Not one of them can do this without your support. 
When I was 10 years old I was pulled out of my home because of abuse and neglect. From there, I continuously jumped from group home to foster home. For the next four years I tried to find direction in my life. But from everyone making decisions for me and a group of negative peers, I was beginning to spiral into something bad.
This is when I met the man Ignacio who would become one of the most important people in my life. When he approached me more than 4 years ago asking if I wanted to ride on his team [El Grupo], I thought it was the coolest thing ever and immediately said yes. When I started I was nothing special; I had hardly done any exercise in my life. But for some reason through all the physical pain I kept with it. Only later did I realize exactly why I did. It was because up to that point in my life I had never felt freedom. I had never felt that I was in control of my life.
Going from getting last place in every race, to now being selected to represent the USA in a Nations Cup race called Tour de L’Abitibi. None of this would have happened if the Tucson community wasn’t so amazing and generous, and that includes Ignacio and Daniela for starting El Grupo for exactly kids like me.
I had been with El Grupo for 6 months when my family had to move back to Mexico for immigration problems. I had the chance to be able to stay with Daniela and Ignacio to finish high school here in Tucson (which I just did!) and to be able to keep racing my bike with El Grupo. Last year I had the opportunity to go the Selection Camp to qualify to race in Canada for the Tour de L’Abitibi, with the help of El Grupo and with El Grupo supporters. I had a great time there meeting guys my age from different countries racing and doing what they love, like me. I learned a lot from this race it made me a better cyclist and racer. This race is important to me because it’s a stepping-stone to the next level of racing, and in my life. This year, I not only went to the Selection camp, but I won it, and now I have the opportunity once more in Canada! None of this would be possible with El Grupo and its supporters.
Before riding bikes I had nothing that I felt passionate about. When I joined El Grupo I suddenly realized that I wanted bikes to be a big part of my life forever. I made friends that were nothing like I had before and went on amazing trips that made me love bikes even more. Riding bikes also helped me gain so much freedom to do what I wanted and go where I wanted, which helped me mature quite a bit. El Grupo has given me so many opportunities both on and off the bike, which would've been impossible in any other sport. 
The first two years that I raced bikes with El Grupo, I sucked. I finished last at every single race I did for almost two straight years. But, despite these poor finishes, I had fun and continued to work hard, always trying to become a faster, better cyclist.
Cycling was an honest sport to me. I put all my time and work into it and I got what I put in. Three years into the sport and I was winning legit races for the first time. And it felt really good. The thing is, while I might be training more than I was previously, I'm still riding my bike because it's fun. Competing is fun. Riding with my best friends is fun. Cycling with El Grupo made me the confident leader of a person that I am today. Cycling isn't just the greatest sport, It's a lifelong enjoyable activity that creates confidence, friends, family, community, fitness, and an overall better world. Joining El Grupo is still the best decision that I’ve ever made.
Learning what it meant to be a child of a single parent was the hardest emotional obstacle I have ever encountered, and I was somewhat lost in the process. But then El Grupo found us and gave us a place within the El Grupo family. Everyone has their ups and their downs, and I will always appreciate the opportunities I have been given through this cycling team.
Racing in Canada seemed like some farfetched dream, and I didn’t have the full confidence in myself that I would be able to compete the way I did. Now I am not only confident, but determined to do everything I possibly can to represent my country and the amazing team that has given me numerous life-changing opportunities, and has raised me like a member of a family. El Grupo!
When I first started cycling with my team El Grupo Youth Cycling I was 14 years old just starting high school. I was a pretty awkward kid. I didn't really know how to ride a bike that well. Being on this team has raised my expectations and confidence in myself. Cycling and El Grupo have helped keep me on the right path. This is an opportunity of a lifetime that I have earned and is a privilege to attend- representing the USA! This is going to be my greatest challenge yet in the sport of cycling. I've worked and trained extremely hard for this race not to stop now, as once there I intend to do well in Canada. 
Article Image
Keenan, Christian, Logan, BK*, Nicholas, Daniel, Ben
*Barney King, US Junior National Coach

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El Grupo Youth Cycling
PO BOX 295
Tucson, AZ 85702

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