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Wells to Lead U.S. at PanAm MTB Championships

Todd Wells will lead the US team at the PanAm mountain bike championships in Bogata, Colombia in April. Photo by Frank Bodenmueller
Todd Wells will lead the US team at the PanAm mountain bike championships in Bogata, Colombia in April. Photo by Frank Bodenmueller

More than two dozen American cross-country and gravity riders will head to Bogota, Colombia next month for the Pan American Mountain Bike Championships.

Leading USA Cycling’s 26-rider team at the April 1-3 event will be Todd Wells, who won the 2010 men’s XC race in Guatemala. On the gravity side, , Katie Holden, of Scotts Valley, California, will look to defend her continental title from a year ago.

“The Continental Championships are a good chance for all of our riders to pick up valuable UCI points,” said Marc Gullickson, USA Cycling Mountain Bike and Cyclo-cross Program Director. “Especially the elite men’s cross-country squad, who will use this as an opportunity to boost our nation’s ranking as we try to qualify the maximum three riders for the Olympic men’s cross-country race in London.”

Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.)
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.)
Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont.)
Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.)
Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass.)
Jeremiah Bishop(Harrisonburg, Va.)
Troy Wells (Durango, Colo.)

Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass.)
Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo.)
Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Russell Finsterwald (Boulder, Colo.)
Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash.)
Jack Hinkens (Eden Prairie, Minn.)
Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, NC)

Erica Zaveta (Erwinna, Pa.)

Chris Van Dine (Jim Thorpe, Pa.)
Ethan Quehl (Grayson, Ga.)
Luciano Worl (Woodinville, Wa.)
Michael Buell (Nederland, Colo.)
Heikki Hall (Durango, Colo.)
Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah)
Kyle Thomas (Issaquah, Wash.)
JD Swanguen (San Diego, Calif.)
Dante Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.)

Katie Holden (Scotts Valley, Calif.)
Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.)

Four men earned automatic nomination to the elite men’s cross country squad as the top Americans in the UCI’s individual standings as of March 1: Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-TREK), Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-TREK), and Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.).

Wells is the top-ranked American in 10th, while Horgan-Kobelski, Schultz, and Craig are 39th, 42nd, and 68th. Joining these four as discretionary selections to the team will be Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes), Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va./Cannondale Factory Racing), and Troy Wells (Durango, Colo.).

After Willow Koerber (Durango, Colo./Trek World Racing) and Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna Pro Team) declined their automatic nominations due to conflicts with team training camps, the elite women’s squad for Bogota was whittled down to a strong trio.

Leading the women will be two-time Olympian Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) who was an automatic selection as the second American (after Koerber) in the UCI’s individual standings, in 6th place. Joining McConneloug will be auto selection Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-TREK), who is ranked 18th by the UCI, and discretionary nominee Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Rabobank-Giant), who is ranked 41st by the UCI.

“It’s unfortunate that Willow and Georgia won’t be able to make it, but we’ll have strong teams regardless for both the men’s and women’s events,” Gullickson said. “I expect we will challenge for the win in both events.”

Chris Van Dine (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) will lead the U.S. gravity contingent. After finishing sixth in last year’s Continental Championship downhill contest, Van Dine will be looking for a podium spot this time around. He’ll be joined by Ethan Quehl (Grayson, Ga.), Luciano Worl (Woodinville, Wa.), Michael Buell (Nederland, Colo.), Kyle Thomas (Issaquah, Wash.), and Dante Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.), as well as USA Cycling Professional Mountain Bike gravity Tour standouts Heikki Hall (Durango, Colo.), Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah/SPS North America), and JD Swanguen (San Diego, Calif.).

In the elite women’s downhill competition, Holden, the reigning Pan American champion, will be joined by USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships silver medalist Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.).

“I expect our gravity team to be one of, if not the, strongest team at the event,” Gullickson said.

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