The Les Amis squad [French for “The Friends”] was founded in 1996 by, appropriately enough, a group of friends. Since then it has sponsored a junior program development team coached by Matt Van Vleet. The white and yellow kit of this Greenville team can often be seen at training rides and races in the Southeast.
One rider who has shown some potential recently is 15 year old Charlie Hough. This Greer Middle College Charter High School student was introduced to cycling by his father who also races. Hough has the lean physique of a climber which he displayed when the Kenda pro team organized a group ride several weeks ago. Hough was one of a select group of cyclists that didn’t get dropped immediately when the visiting pros turned up the speed a notch on the Paris Mountain climb.
Recently Hough has taken the next step in his cycling progression and rode with the “A” Group at the Tuesday night Donaldson training race. The Donaldson Center (aka SCTAC) training race is a seven-mile loop that is ridden five times with additional loops added as the day light increases. This is a very competitive training race and the big guns come out looking for bragging rights.
When asked about his experience riding with these more experienced riders who tower over him in the peloton, Hough nonchalantly answered, “It was pretty fast but I liked it. They know how to ride better it seems.”
To stay competitive in this faster group requires some training. Yet with a full school schedule this freshman still finds the time to ride between 100 to 150 miles a week.
His recent results include a third place in the junior category at the Dilworth criterium. Hough is also currently occupying second place overall in the Carolina Junior Development Series. And due to his third place in a LAJRS [Lance Armstrong Junior Race Series] race he was invited to the development camp at Furman University in June.
So the next time you see a white and yellow kit streaking past you on the climb, chances are it’s Charlie Hough.
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