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United Mint Cycling: Cycling & University
United Mint Cycling: Cycling & University

The first cycling program in the world to offer elite-level cycling combined with comprehensive higher education opens their enrolment for 2017. United Mint Cycling was developed for cyclists who want an immersive training and competitive experience, while obtaining the security of world-class academic degrees and industry expertise.

Based in Vitoria–Gasteiz, Spain – the heart of the famed cycling mecca of the Basque Country – the United Mint Cycling program is hosted at United Mint Campus (UMC), an innovative global higher education destination, where cyclists of all ages can participate in degree studies, study abroad, professional skills bootcamps, and on-campus internships.

“Too many cyclists are faced with a heartbreaking choice: cycling or education. At UMC, we enable cyclists to do what they love and to graduate with what they need,” said Anatoly Lezhen, founder of United Mint Campus. “Before United Mint Cycling, a cyclist’s career track carried a huge amount of risk – with injury or retirement signifying a frightening end. The benefit of attending United Mint Campus is that coaches and educators work hand-in-hand to support each athlete’s needs, and provide a personalized cycling and education program.”

United Mint Cycling boasts state-of-the-art athletic, residential, and educational facilities. In addition to riding some of the best and most varied terrain in the world, UMC cyclists will train at the world-class Bakh Sport Center. This newly built athletic wonderland offers a full gamut of indoor and outdoor sports facilities, multiple fitness gyms, TRX, spinning gyms, as well as four pools, a physical therapy center and a sports medicine clinic. The athletic center also houses multiple social spaces, restaurants and cafes.

Aitor Apestehuia, Director of the Bakh Sport Center, underlined that in their role as a sports landmark, “partnering with an innovative educational institution as UMC makes us very happy”.

“This partnership combines the chance to offer high-level educational opportunities to athletes and fitness opportunities to students, and this aligns perfectly with our beliefs and mission,” Apestehuia added. “Two professional teams, Baskonia and Alavés, train here. Now, we are eager to add the presence of such a high-level cycling development program as United Mint Cycling, and collaborate in its success.”

The United Mint Cycling Program is directed by Allan Davis, a world-class cycling icon, who has lived in the Basque Country since 2003. Davis developed his career as a professional in 2002, racing around the world at the top professional level until retirement from the professional peloton in 2014. Davis rode for professional teams Mapei, ONCE-Eroski, Liberty Seguros, Discovery, Mitsubishi, Quick Step, Astana and Orica-GreenEdge.

During his successful professional cycling career Davis earned a bronze medal at the World Championship Road Race in 2010 and that same year stood atop the podium at Commonwealth Games winning the Gold Medal in the road race. Other career highlights include collecting the General Classification (GC) jersey and six stages at Tour Down Under, and a jersey at Giro di Piamonte. Davis collected stage wins in Volta a Catalunya, Tour of Germany, Tour of Poland, Vuelta Murcia, Tour of Qinghai Lake, Eneco Tour, and has completed all grand tours – Tour de France, Giro d´Italia, and Vuelta España with multiple stage podiums — 31 UCI Professional victories in total. Prior to his professional cycling career in Europe, Davis was a scholarship holder in Australia with the Australian Institute of Sport (A.I.S.) and Queensland Academy of Sport (Q.A.S).

Davis will guide and develop daily training programs, cycling skill development, and racing programs for the UMC Cycling Team. Davis brings profound coaching and sports director experience along with a unique understanding of professional peloton dynamics both internationally and in Spain. Under Davis’ direction, United Mint Campus will host MMCs (Managers/Mentors/Coaches) from around the world who will be delivering specific skills workshops and bootcamps.

“I have been able to invest all of my passion and expertise into launching the United Mint Cycling program,” Davis said. “Having been part of the global cycling community for over 15 years, I can honestly say that United Mint Cycling surpasses any previous initiative of developing cycling talent. The way that United Mint Cycling blends top-level training, higher education and an enthusiastic community is unmatched. The fact that this is happening in the Basque Country, Spain, where cycling is a culture in itself, makes this program a must for anybody who loves to ride a bike.”

At United Mint Campus, each cyclist works directly with UMC cycling coaches and RTAs (Resident Talent Advisors) to assure that their personal goals are met across all athletic and academic pursuits. The mission at UMC is to provide each student and athlete the best personalized opportunities, while creating a campus experience steeped in community and support. The United Mint Cycling program offers cycling gap year, cycling internship/study abroad, and degree programs, as well as business skills development. All students participate in real world projects and skills bootcamps at UMC’s on-campus “Project Incubators.”

“I am extremely excited and grateful to be given the opportunity to be a part of the cutting edge cycling program offered by UMC. I am looking forward to working with Allan as a mentor and coach of the program, as well as those involved with the academic side at UMC. I want to make an impact with my presence at UMC and on the European racing circuit. With the guidance from UMC, I believe I can reach my full cycling potential.. I would like to build a relationship with UMC to one day become an ambassador for the program and give other young athletes the opportunity that I was fortunate enough to be given,” said Guy Frail, United Mint Cycling rider.

The United Mint Cycling program is open to male and female professional level cyclists, elite riders, and cycling enthusiasts. Each United Mint Cycling rider receives training and coaching designed for champions – physical therapists, nutritionists and MDs, as well as team mechanics and a team car. Hosted on a stunning campus with cycling as part of its DNA, United Mint cyclists and students have access to a deeply committed cycling community and an on-campus Cycling Café, currently under design by UMC students.

All this in the Basque Country – a competitive sport paradise for elite cyclists with an almost year-round calendar of weekly competitions. The United Mint Cycling program gives riders the opportunity to race weekly, and is a platform to showcase their riding talents via the deep European racing calendar.

“I believe that the United Mint Cycling program will provide me with all possible opportunities to develop further as a cyclist. With the United Mint Cycling team and UMC educationsystem being integrated, it will help me balance life commitments in the future. UMC’s concept of learning and connecting with hands-on experience in the program called ‘Project Incubators’ really got my attention as I am a hands-on learner,” said Efren Flores, United Mint Cycling rider.

For the 2017 season, United Mint Campus has already identified a group of talented male and female cyclists from Australia, Mexico, Spain and the United States. These future students are uniformly excited about the opportunity to cycle competitively in Spain, while having the support of a community focused on gaining an education.

“I look forward to racing the Spanish season. I’m sure it will be a great atmosphere and I will come away stronger and more knowledgeable. The tough Spanish racing competition and UMC support in the form of world class coaches who understand the value of an education will enable me to massively improve all sectors of my cycling and my life. At the same time, I will be immersed in the Spanish culture, learning a new language and different ways of thinking,” Efren added.

Beyond hosting individual cyclists, United Mint Campus is launching a game-changing cycling training platform for development teams. The team-focused program provides international development teams with custom access to UMC programming, facilities, and residences. Team managers finally get a European “home base” where training facilities, medical services and logistics support are readily available. Riders finally find a rich community where they can flourish as cyclists and students.

“Today’s development teams face a great challenge in their decentralized structure – with a huge logistical strain put on riders and coaches to manage training, competition, and team cohesion. At United Mint Campus, we provide pro teams with an all-in-one solution for cycling talent development,” said Allan Davis.

United Mint Cycling is currently exploring partnerships for the program with prominent brands in the cycling industry as well as non-endemic companies looking to align with the UMC cycling and educational philosophy.

United Mint Campus enrollment is open for the 2017 year. Options available include Spring/Summer/Autumn semesters and cycling study abroad.

 

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