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Brandon McNulty, Amber Neben, Lawson Craddock headline US team for world championships

Team director confident in strong selection for world championships later this month: 'We’re in a good position for a medal finish in multiple races.'

Olympic stars and grand tour racers will headline the U.S. national team at the UCI world road championships later this month.

Amber Neben, Lawson Craddock, Brandon McNulty, Coryn Rivera, and Quinn Simmons were some of the headline names when USA Cycling confirmed its selections for the UCI world championships earlier this week.

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Neben had been considered a top contender for the race against the clock in Flanders after racing to fifth at the Olympic Games time trial last month. However, a recent training crash has left the 46-year-old uncertain of her form and forced her to decline an invite for the road race team. She will be joined by Leah Thomas for the time trial.

“Twelve days ago I got hit by a car. I fractured my pelvis in three spots. I also ended up with a big contusion on my upper leg and backside,” Neben wrote Monday.

“I am healing fast, but I have a long way to go to return to form for the world championship time trial. After the Olympics, I rested well and was going good. This accident is a huge challenge. I will definitely get up! The question is do I have enough time? I know it is a long shot to make it back, but the door is open. Overcomer is in my DNA.”

Thomas, Kristen Faulkner, Coryn Rivera, Lauren Stephens, Tayler Wiles, and Ruth Winder have been confirmed for the road race.

The U.S. women will be without key asset Chloé Dygert in Flanders later this month. Dygert announced Tuesday that she would not be able to race as she continues to struggle with the lingering impact of her crash at the 2020 worlds.

The men’s road race team of Lawson Craddock, Matteo Jorgenson, Brandon McNulty, Neilson Powless, Quinn Simmons, and Joey Rosskopf brings a stack of attacking options for the classics-style Flandrien race.

McNulty stomped to sixth-place at the Olympic road race last month, while Simmons and Craddock are both currently active at this month’s Vuelta. Sepp Kuss was not selected for a course that does not play into his high-mountain skillset.

Former junior national champion Simmons has the potential to light up the arduous hilly road race. The 20-year-old has been targeting both the worlds and Paris-Roubaix since early in the season and is hoping to pull off something special this fall.

Simmons has been riding himself into top form at the Vuelta and made a turn in the day’s breakaway Tuesday in what makes a promising sign for his autumn goals.

“A few more hard days, then some rest, and then looking ahead at the final two objectives of the year,” Simmons said Tuesday. “I started off quite bad in this Vuelta. I was sick the week before, and I didn’t ride so much, so it’s been three weeks where every day I’ve been feeling better.

“So even if the special day doesn’t come here, it’s a good sign going towards worlds and Roubaix.”

McNulty and Craddock will represent USA in the long, flat time trial.

The men’s U23 team sees a strong representation from the Hagens Berman Axeon squad. Current rider Matthew Riccitello and recent team graduates Sean Quinn and Kevin Vermaerke have all made the selection.

“The team is filled with some of the strongest riders the U.S. has, who complement each other’s strengths,” said USA Cycling director Jeff Pierce. “We have an excellent group of Juniors, U23s, and Elites who have won multiple world championship medals. With the recent success from our riders, we’re in a good position for a medal finish in multiple races.”

Racing starts with the men’s time trial, September 19.

Road Races:

  • Elite Women: Kristen Faulkner, Coryn Rivera, Lauren Stephens, Leah Thomas, Tayler Wiles, Ruth Winder
  • Elite Men: Lawson Craddock, Matteo Jorgenson, Brandon McNulty, Neilson Powless, Quinn Simmons, Joey Rosskopf
  • U23 Men: Luke Lamperti, Sean Quinn, Matthew Riccitello, Magnus Sheffield, Kevin Vemaerke
  • Junior Women: Makayla MacPherson, Kaia Schmid, Chloe Patrick, Olivia Cummins
  • Junior Men: Alex Gustin, Cole Kessler, Colby Simmons, Artem Shmidt

Time trials:

  • Elite Women: Amber Neben, Leah Thomas
  • Elite Men: Lawson Craddock, Brandon McNulty
  • U23 Men: Matthew Riccitello, Magnus Sheffield
  • Junior Women: Olivia Cummins, Makayla MacPherson
  • Junior Men: Alex Gustin, Cole Kessler

Schedule:

  • Sunday, September 19 – Elite Men’s Time Trial
  • Monday, September 20 – Elite Women and U23 Men’s Time Trials
  • Tuesday, September 21 – Junior Women and Junior Men’s Time Trials
  • Wednesday, September 22 – Mixed Team Time Trial Relay
  • Friday, September 24 – U23 Men and Junior Men’s Road Races
  • Saturday, September 25 – Junior Women and Elite Women’s Road Races
  • Sunday, September 26 – Elite Men’s Road Race