The Mezuena Foundation - Supporting Colombia's Top Young Cycling Talent
One thing that Colombia has not been short of over the past few years has been word class cyclists across all disciplines of the sport, from road cycling success with Quintana and Urán, to Olympic medals for Mariana Pajón in the BMX discipline. A big part of this is obviously down to the work that goes in to developing cyclists at youth level, often with foundations and volunteers giving their time and expertise to aspiring youngsters. With its emphasis on mountain biking, The Mezuena Foundation, created by Pablo Mazuera, is playing a crucial role developing young cyclists in the Bogotá area and one that La Leyenda del Dorado is delighted to announce its support for in this year's race.
Pablo, a sound engineer, initially started working with youngsters as part of his Mezuena Productions company in 2010 and the Foundation was formalised in 2013 when it became clear that very positive results were being achieved that they wanted to build on. The Mezuena Foundation now supports talented cyclists between the ages of 11 and 18 years old, helping them to participate in competitions, such as the Copa Mezuena, organised by the foundation itself with UCI accreditation, whilst at the same time helping them combine the sport with their studies and personal guidance as they grow into being young adults.
"It's a dedicated job towards a select group of talented youngsters, it requires a large budget, expensive gear and specific resources so they can practise the sport regularly and hopefully fulfill their potential. We're financed by our sponsors, and at the moment we are supporting 8 boys, six via our Specialized-Tugo-SRAM mountain bike team, and 2 young road cyclists too, but we've helped 18 cyclists since we started in 2010," commented Pablo on the Foundation's background.
The star of the 18 graduates is Egan Bernal, the new rider for Team Sky in the UK, one of the world's biggest road cycling teams. Egan, 21, has just won the White Jersey as Best Young Rider in the Tour Down Under in Australia. and is a renowned climber like many of his compatriots. He was signed by Sky in August 2017 after excellent performances in the Tour de L'Avenir and Tour of the Alps and will be riding on the World Tour this year. Pablo told us,
"The whole story with Egan has been incredible and happened so fast. He was a boy, just like the others, who did a bit better in competitions but was always very humble and grounded during his 5 years with us. I'm just happy that I've been able to contribute positive things to his life on a personal and sporting level so he can get the international recognition he deserves.”
La Leyenda will support the Mezuena Foundation as part of our Social Responsibility initiative by donating half of a team registration fee towards the work of the Foundation and publicising the work they do. The first team that registers will then ride La Leyenda 2018, Colombia's most important and prestigious mountain bike race, in Fundación Mezuena jerseys! If you're interested in supporting their work and helping develop the next Egan Bernal, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org