Thirty-Five Athletes Nominated in Mountain Bike, Track and Women's Road Cycling
USA Cycling announced today the 35 athletes that are eligible to represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in the disciplines of mountain bike, track and women's road cycling.
As part of its nomination process, USA Cycling named a Long Team of eligible athletes in the disciplines of men's and women's mountain bike and women's road cycling. Additionally, its Talent Pool of track athletes will serve as a list of riders from which this summer's Olympic Team will named.
In the discipline of women's road cycling, five athletes met automatic nomination criteria while two were nominated to the Long Team by virtue of discretionary selections. Athletes automatically named to the Long Team include Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho), Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.), Tina Mayolo-Pic (Buford, Ga.), Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo.) and Christine Thorburn (Sunnyvale, Calif.).
Armstrong earned her nomination as a silver medalist in the time trial at the 2007 UCI Road World Championships last September in Stuttgart, Germany. The other four automatic nominees earned their spots on the Long Team based on their individual international ranking according to the December 31, 2007 edition of the UCI Road Rankings. As the top-five Americans in the rankings, Neben (9th), Armstrong (18th), Mayolo-Pic (34th), Abbott (39th) and Thorburn (62nd) were assured automatic bids to the Long Team.
The two discretionary nominations went to Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo.) and Alison Powers (Boulder, Colo.) based on competitive results throughout the 2007 racing season. Ranked 85th in the world, Seehafer showed strong mid-season form with career-best performances at La Route de France Feminine in which she won a stage, wore the leader's jersey for three days and finished 18th overall. Powers finished the 2007 season ranked 103rd. Notable results for Powers included a gold medal in the time trial at the Pan American Championships, a third-place finish at the Memorial Davide Fardelli Time Trial in Italy and a seventh-place overall finish at Le Grand Tour du Montreal.
Eleven mountain bike athletes were also nominated to the Olympic Long Team, including six men and five women.
Of the six men named to the squad, five received automatic nominations as the top-five Americans in the UCI Mountain Bike Rankings on December 31, 2007 provided they were in the top 60 overall - Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.), Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.), Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, W. Va.) and Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass.). Craig was the highest-ranked U.S. rider in 16th, followed by Horgan-Kobelski in 28th, Wells in 32nd, Bishop in 37th and Broderick in 59th.
Ranked 75th in the world as the sixth American, Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont.) received the only discretionary nomination to the men's mountain bike Long Team.
A similar model was used to select the women's mountain bike Long Team as four athletes earned automatic nominations. Georgia Gould (Ketchum, Idaho), Mary McConneloug (Fairfax, Calif.), Willow Koerber (Asheville, N.C.) and Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo.) were selected as the top-four Americans in the UCI Mountain Bike Rankings on December 31, 2007 provided they were in the top 40 overall. Gould and McConneloug both finished the season in the top ten, ranked sixth and seventh respectively, while Koerber finished the year ranked 11th and Irmiger 26th.
Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.) was the sole discretionary nomination to the women's mountain bike Long Team. She finished the year ranked 47th in the world as the next-best American.
In the discipline of track cycling, athletes must first qualify for the 2008 USA Cycling Talent Pool in order to be eligible to represent the U.S. in Beijing. Following the third round of the 2007-08 UCI Track World Cup Classics circuit in Los Angeles last weekend, the final Talent Pool roster has been determined.
The women's endurance squad consists of two-time individual pursuit world champion Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif.), Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif.), Lauren Franges (Asheville, N.C.), Christen King (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Becky Quinn (Quakertown, Pa.) and Armstrong. The two sprinters who were named to the Talent Pool include Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.) and Liz Reap (Jim Thorpe, Pa.).
Four sprinters and five endurance riders earned nominations to the men's Talent Pool. Sprinters include Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif.), Adam Duvendeck (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Andy Lakatosh (Trexlertown, Pa.) and Giddeon Massie (Zionhill, Pa.). Endurance riders who are eligible for the Beijing Games include Michael Friedman (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Brad Huff (Fair Grove, Mo.), Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa.), Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.) and Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.).
"USA Cycling would like to congratulate the athletes that have thus far earned nominations to the 2008 Olympic Long Team," said Pat McDonough, USA Cycling Director of Athletics. "Their hard work and determination to succeed has helped raise the level of American cycling to remarkable heights and their collective accomplishments are indicative of the United States' ability to be a legitimate medal contender across all four disciplines of competitive cycling in Beijing. The athletes on this list have either proven their capabilities to win medals in major international events or illustrated the potential to do so in the future."
The Long Team rosters for men's and women's BMX racing - the newest addition to the Olympic program - will be announced following the 2008 UCI BMX World Championships in Taiyuan, China, May 29 - June 1. Selections will be based on international rankings following the world championships.
The selection process of athletes to the men's road squad does not include the naming of a Long Team. Instead, the team that will represent the United States in Beijing will be determined by competitive results at major international events throughout the 2007 and 2008 racing seasons. To date, Levi Leipheimer (Santa Rosa, Calif.) is the only athlete to have met the automatic nomination criteria based on his third-place overall finish at the 2007 Tour de France.
2008 U.S. Olympic Long Team (Mountain Bike and Women's Road) and USA Cycling Talent Pool (Track):
1. Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo.)*
2. Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho)*
3. Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.)*
4. Tina Mayolo-Pic (Buford, Ga.)*
5. Alison Powers (Boulder, Colo.) **
6. Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo.) **
7. Christine Thorburn (Sunnyvale, Calif.)*
Men's Mountain Bike
1. Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va.)*
2. Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass.)*
3. Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.)*
4. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.)*
5. Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.)*
6. Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont.)**
Women's Mountain Bike
1. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo.)*
2. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo.)*
3. Willow Koerber (Asheville, N.C.)*
4. Mary McConneloug (Fairfax, Calif.)*
5. Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.)**