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Keegan Swenson, Lauren Stephens among six riders added to revamped US worlds squad

Fatigue, injury, and the WorldTour relegation fight have all had an impact on the US selection for Wollongong.

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Six new riders have been added to Team USA for the world championships in Wollongong, including Keegan Swenson and Lauren Stephens, after injury, fatigue, and the WorldTour points hunt forced USA Cycling to make major changes to the squad.

In addition to Swenson and Stephens, other riders that have earned a call-up are 18-year-old Colby Simmons (U23), Finn Gullickson (U23), Heidi Franz (elite women), and Scott McGill (elite men).

Following some doubt over his participation due to the WorldTour relegation battle, and a crash at the GP Cycliste Montréal at the weekend, Neilson Powless has been confirmed on the list of starters.

VeloNews broke the news last week that off-road star Swenson had been selected for the elite men’s team. The 28-year-old has impressed on the gravel this year with wins at SBT GRVL, Leadville 100, and Crusher in the Tushar.

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“This has proven to be an unusual year for World’s team selection. Between the WorldTour relegation battle and the daunting trip to Australia, our selection pool is far smaller than normal. I’m a big fan of the phrase ‘let no good crisis go to waste.’ And that’s why the selection committee decided to add Keegan to our Elite Road team,” USA Cycling CEO Brandan Quirk said.

“We know he has a world tour engine; we know he’s not intimidated by anything or anyone. And we know that the most incredible phenomenon going on in road right now is crossover riders diving in from other disciplines. This is an amazing opportunity for Keegan to show how talented he really is.”

The U.S. squad for the Wollongong worlds was announced nearly three weeks ago, but selectors have been busy adding new riders to the team after a swath pulled out since.

Brandon McNulty dropped out of the elite men’s team citing the fatigue of a long year of racing. Meanwhile, U23 men Kevin Vermaerke and Sean Quinn have been held back to help their respective Team DSM and EF Education-EasyPost squads in the fight to avoid relegation from the WorldTour.

The men’s team had already been struggling for numbers with Quinn Simmons opting out of selection to end his season early and Matteo Jorgensen doing so to help his Movistar team in the search for WorldTour points.

With the shake-up in team selection, USA Cycling has now got a full selection of six riders for the elite men’s roar race. It was initially due to send just five riders to Australia.

McGill and Swenson are also both world championships debutants. While Swenson has been impressing off-road, McGill has achieved some big results on the road, including an overall victory at the Volta a Portugal in August.

In the elite women’s squad, both Coryn Labecki and Krista Doebel-Hickok suffered broken collarbones in the weeks after the team announcement with Labecki crashing out of the Simac Ladies Tour and Doebel-Hickok hitting the deck at the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta.

It will be Stephens’ sixth appearance in Team USA colors at the world championships and her visit to Australia will form part of a busy fall of racing for rainbow stripes. Franz, meanwhile, is a worlds rookie. The InstaFund rider has been riding recently with the USA Cycling development program Cynisca Cycling, as has previously selected Skylar Schneider.

Elite Men

Road Race

Lawson Craddock (Houston; Team BikeExchange-Jayco)
Scott McGill (Fallston, Md.; Wildlife Generation)
Kyle Murphy (Washington, D.C.; Human Powered Health)
Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif.; EF Education-EasyPost)
Magnus Sheffield (Pittsford, N.Y.; Ineos Grenadiers)
Keegan Swenson (Park City Utah; Santa Cruz Bicycles)

Time Trial

Lawson Craddock (Houston; Team BikeExchange-Jayco)
Magnus Sheffield (Pittsford, N.Y.; Ineos Grenadiers)

Elite Women

Road Race

Veronica Ewers (Moscow, Idaho; EF Education-TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank)
Kristen Faulkner (Homer, Alaska; Team BikeExchange-Jayco)
Heidi Franz (Seattle, Wash.; InstaFund Racing)
Emma Langley (Richmond, Va.; EF Education-TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank)
Skylar Schneider (Milwaukee, Wis.; L39ion of Los Angeles)
Lauren Stephens (Dallas; EF Education-TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank)
Leah Thomas (Santa Clara, Calif.; Trek-Segafredo)

Time Trial

Kristen Faulkner (Homer, Alaska; Team BikeExchange-Jayco)
Leah Thomas (Santa Clara, Calif.; Trek-Segafredo)

U23 Men

Road Race

Finn Gullickson (Colorado Springs, Colo.; CR4C Roanne)
Luke Lamperti (Sebastopol, Calif.; Trinity Racing)
Matthew Riccitello (Tucson, Ariz.; Israel Premier-Tech)
Colby Simmons (Durango, Colo.; Jumbo-Visma Development Team)
Patrick Welch (Northfield, Minn.; Kelly Benefits Strategies)

Time Trial

Patrick Welch (Northfield, Minn.; Kelly Benefits Strategies)

Junior Men

Road Race

Alex Gustin (San Diego; LUX Cycling Development Team)
Viggo Moore (Feldberg, Ger., LUX Cycling Development Team)
Artem Shmidt (Cumming, Ga.; Hot Tubes Development Cycling)

Time Trial

Alex Gustin (San Diego; LUX Cycling Development Team)
Artem Shmidt (Cumming, Ga.; Hot Tubes Development Cycling)

Junior Women

Road Race

Makala Jaramillo (Black Forest, Colo.; Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24)
Chloe Patrick (Carson, Calif.; Serious Cycling)
Katherine Sarkisov (North Potomac, Md.; LUX Cycling Development Team)
Samantha Scott (Boise, Idaho; Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24)

Time Trial

Chloe Patrick (Carson, Calif.; Serious Cycling)
Katherine Sarkisov (North Potomac, Md.; LUX Cycling Development Team)