2019 Junior Team Announcement!

After much deliberation and a careful, thoughtful review of our 100+ applicants, we are pleased to announce Bear Development Team’s official junior team roster for the 2019 season!

15-18 Boys Elite Team

Brayden Johnson
Ryan Campbell
Jonah Vasquez
Riley Amos
Bjorn Riley
Devin DeBruhl
Maxwell McFadden
Cameron Adams

15-18 Boys Race Team

Finn Melton
Wren Powers
Ryder Uetercht
Sean Middleton
Quinn Felton

15-18 Boys Ambassadors

Tobias Coughlan
Skye Ricci
Santiago Sciutti

15-16 Girls Elite Team

Tai-Lee Smith
Ruth Holcomb

15-16 Girls Race Team

Sabrina Hayes
Isabella Heinemann

17-18 Girls Elite Team

Sydney Palmer-Leger
Maddie-Jo Robbins
Gabrielle Richardson
Mahala Randel

17-18 Girls Race Team

Alexis Bobbitt
Shelby Kawell
Meigan Butler


U23 Girls Team + U23 Boys Team to be Announced Friday 9/21

2019 Bear Development Team Announcement

We have made our team selections for the 2019 Bear Development Team!

We are giving riders one week to respond, & will make the team announcement public  next week.

Stay tuned!

Bear Application FAQs



Can I use my own coach?  Do I have to follow their training plan? 

You are able to pick your own coach if you have a preference or choose from our list of high performance directors. And yes, once chosen, you do need to do what they prescribe, thus follow a training plan.  The Bear director does check in with coaches regularly to check on commitment to training plan and work with coaches to better enhance rider performance.


What expenses does the team cover and what is the rider expected to cover? For example, Bikes, equipment, race fees, travel fees, etc.

Expenses depend on the team that you are chosen for and your performance.  We have a U23 Pro Team, a junior Elite Team and a junior Race team.  Pro and Elite members have most of their expenses covered.  Race members only receive some product at no cost, but are able to purchase all other product at a significant discount.  Lack of commitment and progressing performance, will move Elite riders into the Race rider status and vice-versa.

Pro Riders are able to order two bikes for the season on a “line of credit”.  Payment (which is about 50% off retail) is due in October at the end of the season. Riders can either sell their bike to pay off the LOC or pay the invoice themselves and keep the bike. Pro riders receive kits, accessories, shoes, helmets and glasses. They also receive many other bicycling necessities from our sponsors free of cost.  In addition, they are able to purchase additional bikes at cost (up to three), and a plethora of other cycling equipment at a deep discount.

Elite Riders are able to order one bike for the season on a “line of credit”.  Payment (which is about 50% off retail) is due in October at the end of the season. Riders can either sell their bike to pay off the LOC or pay the invoice themselves and keep the bike. Elite riders receive kits, accessories, shoes, helmets and glasses. They also receive many other bicycling necessities from our sponsors free of cost.  In addition, they are able to purchase additional bikes at cost (up to three), and a plethora of other cycling equipment at a deep discount.

Race Riders are able to order up to three bikes at a deep discount (about 50% off retail). Race riders can purchase kits and other team clothing at a deep discount, accessories, shoes, helmets and glasses. They also receive many other bicycling necessities from our sponsors free of cost.  In addition, they are able to purchase a plethora of other cycling equipment from our sponsors at a deep discount.

We are a non-profit and do solicit donations from families and friends to help support the team. These donations are not required, but encouraged.  We also encourage team members to help us reach out to new sponsors to enhance our team offerings and support.


What is a rider required to come to?

As a team-member you are not required to come to anything, but we hope that want to be part of the team and attend as many team events as possible to enhance your performance and your experience.  We focus primarily on all the domestic ProXCT races and especially the junior UCI series in the US as well as Canada. Elite riders risk losing their Elite status if they do not attend races and personal performance is not progressing i.e not demonstrating commitment.

We also have a few team camps, that again, are not mandatory, but highly recommended.


Can I race other disciplines such as Cyclocross and Road with other teams?

Yes, Bear is solely a mountain bike team.  However, many of our riders, also race the road, cyclocross and/or track.  We are open to team-member participation in other disciplines as long as it does not adversely affect your mountain bike season.  We work with each rider individually on their schedule to make it work.  If you do ride for another team for another discipline, we do encourage you to race with a Trek sponsored team, but if that is not possible, it is not an issue.  We want to support all riders to exceed their potential on the bike and if that means multiple teams, we will accommodate!


When I travel to races with the team, are my parents required to join us?  Do we stay as a team?

We typically travel as a team.  Most of our riders are from various states around the country so it is not uncommon for us to fly into or drive into race “towns” independently, meet up and then stay as a team in the same lodging.  U23 and 17-18 year olds can travel without parents, however, 15-16 year olds must have a parent or friend travel with them unless something is arranged with the team director.  U23 riders and Elite junior riders have a travel stipend that can be used to help defray costs based on need, however, Race junior riders are responsible for their own travel costs.


What support can I expect at races?  What can parents expect?

Bear Development provides the most professional and well-run support of any team in the country.  At team supported races, as designated by the team director, we have transportation and lodging.  In addition, at the race venue, we have a team van and mechanics, and create a “pit zone” with mechanical equipment, nutrition, water, trainers, bottles, cleaning supplies, snack foods, chairs, tables, and most of all, a sense of community. Importantly, the Bear pit zone is inclusive, not exclusive, and we invite other non-Bear riders to join us if they need a place to warm up or cool down from races. 

Bear staff are responsible for feeds in the feed zone during races.  We may ask parents to fill in to help with this task, depending on the number of riders in any given race.  We do ask that parents respect Bear’s strategy in the pit zone and not assume they can feed their child at every race.  It is important for our riders to learn to race without parental support, and it typically starts here.

Never fear parents, there are a lot of other things for you to help out with, and the team director with work with parents (using Sign up Genesis) to solicit help for race weekends.  Task include, but are not limited to, bringing water, snack/lunch foods, coffee; helping with set up and break down; feed zone responsibilities and errand running.  Parents are also called upon to help with “transport” if they are able.


What are my responsibilities as a team member of Bear?

  1. You must train and make cycling a priority. It is not a priority over school work, but it is a priority over stateboard basketball, Fortnite, and hanging out with friends every day after school. We do expect you to make progress in performance over the season and unfortunately, Bear does not have a magic wand that can make you fast.  We can provide tools, but you make it happen
  2. You must be grateful and kind. To everyone.  Your director and mechanics and other Bear staff, but even more importantly, your parents, your siblings, your grandparents that all make sacrifices to help you complete in this time consuming, travel intensive, expensive sport! You must be grateful and kind to the hotel staff, the waitress that brings you pancakes, the airline stewards.  You must be grateful and kind to all our sponsors either in person, through written correspondence or through social media.  You must be grateful and kind to your team mates that come from a variety of different backgrounds, cultures and family situations.
  3. You must be a role model to those around you and do your best to promote the sport as a whole, not just our team. That requires volunteer work, working with younger kids, providing support to your local high school league.


Now Accepting Applications to Join Bear for the 2019 Season!

About The Application:

Our application process consists of a questionnaire and 4 document uploads:

  • your race resume
  • a personal essay
  • one cycling recommendation letter
  • one personal recommendation letter

We welcome applicants from all 50 states!

If you are younger than 15 years old but still want to learn more about Bear Development Team, please reach out to us at

We cannot accept any international riders, or any riders that are older than 23 at this time.

Decisions will be made on September 10, 2018.


Please click here to begin the application process.

2018 MTB Nats, A Race Report by 2018 National Champion Maddie Jo Robbins

Nationals: the culmination of a season full of hard work, training, and racing. The day where it all comes together for one hour of grueling racing. The day where you finally get to race all your competitors at once. The day that really counts.

Leading into Nationals I was feeling good. I knew I was prepared and had put in the training. I felt like this could be my year to finally take a title.

We arrived at the Miller School of Albemarle a week before Nationals for the Bear pre-Nats team camp. At Miller we got to reconnect with our teammates, ride the roots that make riding in the East so unique, and relax before heading into the big Nats weekend.

I was stoked to be at the Miller School with the whole team. It was a nice way to prepare for the races without being at the venue amping up the nerves. On our first full day there we got to ride their amazing trails. I had a blast getting back into the groove and testing out the roots.

Everything was going swimmingly until I had the most pitiful crash imaginable. Riding a whole 300 yards from the pool to the dorms, I flipped off my bike after my wet flip flop slipped on my pedal.

Immediately, my wrist began to hurt, but little did I know it was going to become a major part of my Nationals week.

After visiting with an orthopedic doctor in Charlottesville, we were told that I had minor fractures to the scaphoid bone in my wrist. This threw all original training plans out the window, as I now had to focus on protecting my wrist, letting it heal as much as possible and staying mentally in the game.

In the coming days, we arrived at Snowshoe, WV, where Nationals was to be held. The first day there Julia, Ryder, his dad and I walked the course, which I didn’t know was going to be so helpful. I might even do that more often, as it allows you to see the course with a totally different perspective and look at each part of the course in a more methodical way, which in turn allows you to pick out the best lines and really submit the course to memory before even riding it.

The next day I pre-rode the course nice and easy to see how things would be. It wasn’t too bad, and I was able to grip the handle bar and ride! Another day on the course, picking lines, and coming up with a game plan, and I felt ready to give it my all, knowing that adrenaline would kick in and mask any pain.

The plan was to get out in front at the start. That way I would be away from other riders, which would minimize crashing potential, and hurting my wrist further.

I lined up on the start line with this in mind and was ready to go. In a way, I had less nerves and stress than normal as now the goal was to just finish and do as well as I could with my wrist in the shape it was. This took off lots of pressure, which may have even helped me.

We raced at 8:00am in light rain and thick fog, so the course was slick.  I The countdown began and we were off. Immediately, the group raced through the start chute, which held a pretty steep, but short climb. This climb was my new best friend, as most of the girls got caught up trying to go up it, and many even ended up in a bit of a pile up. I was lucky enough to be ahead of all this. I looked up as I hit the apex of the climb only to see my dad’s face light up, and yell, “Go, Maddie, there’s a crash! Go, go, go!” The adrenaline really kicked in at that point and I powered, as I knew this was my chance to gain as much time as I possibly could on the field.

I made it through the first lap still alone, and I began to realize that I could actually win the race. At that point I put my head down and rode as hard as I possibly could. I was on a mission.

Coming up the climb before the feed zone on the second lap, I looked back only to see my biggest competitor, Katie Clouse, chugging up the hill behind me. At this point she was about 20 seconds behind me. The pain cave was real, but I knew I would have to give it more if I wanted to win. So I did. I went through the feed zone where the crowds were ecstatically cheering. This made me go even harder as I wanted to make everyone proud. After the feed zone was a flowy descent, where I got to recuperate a bit. On the corners I took the chance to look back to see where Katie was and to my surprise I didn’t see her. Excitement filled my veins, I could actually become the National Champion. I had to stay focused and keep charging though, as I knew anything could happen, and that my competitors were fierce, and were going to give it their all as well.

I came through for my final lap, and I still had my gap. I went through the feed zone for the final time, where Julia warned me me to eliminate all risks and ride smart as Katie had had a mechanical. From then on I took it a bit more cautiously, still trying to keep up my pace though.

I rounded the final corner, with the cheers of everyone at the finish echoing through my head, and for the first time I went through the finish and became the National Champion! A dream had finally been fulfilled!