Dvorak replaces injured Olds in U.S. team for worlds

Virginia-based rider fills in for Shelley Olds, who has battled knee pain this season

Andrea Dvorak (Exergy Twenty16) will replace Shelley Olds (Tibco-To the Top) in the U.S. National Team for the UCI Elite Road World Championships in Florence, Italy, next week. USA Cycling confirmed the change on Friday, citing knee pain that has hampered the sprinter in the second half of 2013.

“This is very disappointing for me, but I have decided not to race worlds,” Olds said in a press release. “I have been having serious knee pain for the second half of the season. I continued to race hoping that it would be better, but without having the specific training for worlds, I would not be able to deliver the effort the race demands. I was feeling much better last week, but after [Giro della] Toscana finished it flared up again and I have not been able to train. I am certain that I will not be able to do the proper training to be ready for the road race in less than two weeks, and that is why I have decided not to race. I believe someone else will be able to support the team better than me and I would like to give up my spot.”

Dvorak, a trade teammate of Mara Abbott and a key domestique for the American in her Giro Rosa victory in July, will make her second start at the elite road worlds. The Virginia-based Dvorak also rode in the stars and stripes in the Netherlands in 2012.

“It is an honor to represent the U.S. in what is one of the most challenging road courses in recent history,” Dvorak said. “In particular, I look forward to riding with this talented team that has proven that it is capable of winning the biggest races in the world. I will bring to the team whatever is asked of me to achieve what I hope will be a memorable result.”

The elite women’s road race takes place Sept. 28, starting in Montecatini Terme and finishing after 139 kilometers in Florence.

U.S. elite women’s selection for the 2013 UCI Road World Championships:
Mara Abbott, Exergy Twenty16 (RR)
Andrea Dvorak, Exergy Twenty 16 (RR)
Megan Gaurnier, Rabobank-Liv-Giant (RR)
Kristin McGrath, Exergy Twenty16 (RR)
Carmen Small, Specialized-lululemon (TT)
Evelyn Stevens, Specialized-lululemon (TT)
Jade Wilcoxson, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies (RR)