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Defending champion Christopher Blevins spearheads USA Cycling team for MTB worlds

Federation names full lineup for races in Les Gets, France, August 22-28.

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USA Cycling has finalized the athletes who will represent the country for the upcoming MTB worlds in Les Gets, France, from August 22-28, including the 2021 XCC winner Christopher Blevins who is aiming to defend his short track world title.

The Durango/Specialized Factor Racing rider showed strong form in taking victory in last week’s XCC World Cup race in Snowshoe.

He will be joined on the squad by the winner of the women’s XCC last week, Ramona native Gwendalyn Gibson (Norco Bicycles), plus the recent elite cross country nationals winner Savilia Blunk (Orange Seal Off-Road Team). Both placed in the top 10 in Snowshoe in the elite XCO race despite it being their first year to compete in that category.

Also traveling are the 2018 world champion Kate Courtney (SCOTT-SRAM Factory Racing) plus fellow Olympian Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing), as well as Hannah Otto (Pivot Cycles/ DT Swiss) and Kelsey Urban (Team 31: Outride).

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Under 23 rider Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing) has been in a race against time to get back to full fitness after breaking his collarbone at the national championships last month. He previously took several World Cup podiums this season and in 2021 became the first-ever American male to win a U23 World Cup in 2021. Bjorn Riley (Team Trek Vaude) is also tipped by the selectors as one to watch, not least because of his under 23 national title win plus his second place last week in Snowshoe.

Madigan Munro (Trek Factor Racing) heads up the under 23 women’s selection. She showed impressive form recently in winning the U23 cross country nationals on July 23 and in taking third in the XCO World Cup race in Showshoe.

The downhill team includes heavy hitters such as national champion Dakotah Norton (Intense Factory Racing), teammate Aaron Gwin and Luca Shaw (Canyon Cllctv), upcoming young riders Dante Silva (Canyon Cllctv Pirelli), Austin Dooley (Commencal USA), and Christopher Grice (Specialized Factory Racing), plus the elite women Anna Newkirk (Beyond Racing) and Abby Hogie (Beyond Racing).

“The USA Cycling National Team showed what we’re capable of at Snowshoe, and the athletes are well-prepared for this World Championships,” said Jesse Anthony, USA Cycling’s director of cyclocross and mountain bike.

“The U.S. mountain bike athletes have had a relatively quiet season on the World Cup circuit, and we have been slowly building momentum toward the end of the season. We are in an excellent position going into the World Championships, and U.S. fans have a lot to be excited about as the team heads to Les Gets.”

Team USA roster:

Cross-Country

Elite men: Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo.; Specialized Factory Racing)

Elite women: Haley Batten (Park City, Utah; Specialized Factory Racing),
Savilia Blunk (Inverness, Calif.; Orange Seal Off-Road Team), Kate Courtney (Kentfield, Calif.; SCOTT-SRAM Factory Racing), Gwendalyn Gibson (Ramona, Calif.; Norco Bicycles), Hannah Otto (Salt Lake City; Pivot Cycles/ DT Swiss), Kelsey Urban (Kentfield, Calif.; Team 31: Outride)

U23 men: Riley Amos (Durango, Colo.; Trek Factory Racing), Robbie Day (Evergreen, Colo.; Bear National Team), Brayden Johnson (Jordan, Utah; Bear National Team), Bjorn Riley (Boulder, Colo.; Team Trek VAUDE), Austin Beard (Middlesex, Vt.; Bicycle Express Racing)

U23 women: Sofia Waite (Littleton, Colo.; WE Development), Ruth Holcomb (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team), Lauren Lackman (Wausau, Wisc.; Rib Mountain Cycles), Madigan Munro (Boulder, Colo.; Trek Factory Racing)

Junior men: Jack Spranger (Sammamish, Wash.; Bear National Team), Cayden Parker (Hot Springs, Ark.; Bear National Team), Daniel English (San Ramon, Calif.; Voler/Easton/HRS/Rock Lobster)

Junior women: Lauren Aggeler (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team), Bailey Cioppa (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team), Chloe Fraser (Boulder, Colo.; Boulder Junior Cycling)

Downhill

Elite men: Austin Dooley (Yucaipa, Calif.; Commencal USA), Christopher Grice (Brevard, N.C.; Specialized Factory Racing), Aaron Gwin (Morongo Valley, Calif.; Intense Factory Racing), Neko Mulally (Pisgah Forest, N.C.; Frameworks Racing), Dakotah Norton (Clinton, Tenn.; Intense Factory Racing), Luca Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C.; Canyon Cllctv), Dante Silva (Chula Vista, Calif.; Canyon Cllctv Pirelli)

Elite women: Ella Erickson (Hayden, Idaho; NW Gravity Collective), Abby Hogie (Heidelberg, Germany; Beyond Racing), Anna Newkirk (Riehen, Switzerland; Beyond Racing), Kailey Skelton (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.; KHS Factory Racing)

Junior men: Andrew Driscoll (Bow, N.H.; Defiant Racing), Colin McElyea (Scottsdale, Ariz.; Evolve Racing),
Evan Medcalf (Albuquerque, N.M.; Evolve Racing), Alden Pate (Snohomish, Wash.; Transition), Ryan Pinkerton (Aliso Viejo, Calif.; GT Factory Racing), Tyler Zenoni (Short Hills, N.J.)

Junior women: Riley Miller (East Burke, Vt.; Commencal USA)

E-MTB

Men: Dave Harrison (Sun Valley, Idaho), Nat Ross (Golden, Colo.; Tough Guy Productions), Gerald White (Tampa, Fla.)

Women: Shane Ferro (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Ashley Hendershot (Mansfield, Ohio)