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USA Cycling names seven riders to Pan-Am squad

Evelyn Stevens will lead the women’s team in the time trial at the May 8-12 games

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SITTARD, Netherlands (VN) — The USA Cycling development house in the Netherlands was abuzz Thursday morning with the news that some of its athletes will be sent to the 2014 Pan American Continental Road Championships, slated for May 8-12 in Puebla, Mexico.

Maura Kinsella, 23, a rider training and racing here in the women’s spring classics, sat quietly in the early morning, drinking coffee and pecking away on a laptop. She’s been in northern Europe for two months now. She made the Pan-Am roster.

“I’m really excited to be selected for the Pan-Ams, because it’s a really big step forward in my cycling career,” said Kinsella, who races professionally for Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies. “To be in such good company with [Evelyn Stevens], and Megan [Guarnier] and Kristin McGrath and Lauren [Komanski], I’m really excited. I think we have a really good team going.”

Kinsella’s best result here during this block is a sixth place at Le Samyn des Dammes; her selection is something like validation. Her racing in Europe this spring has been difficult — for a very good reason.

“I’ve definitely been happy with how it’s going so far,” Kinsella said. “I petitioned [for the games] obviously with the hope of making it, but it’s a little bit of a surprise for me, so I’m really exited about that.”

Komanski, 28, made the team as well. “It’s huge. It wasn’t really something I expected. It’s a huge honor to have another chance to race for USA. And on this stage is really exciting,” she said.

“It’s hard racing,” said Komanski, who has been over in Europe training and racing for two months. “But you kind of expect that coming over. But I was lucky enough to have some good groups coming over. Having good people around you makes a huge difference.”

USA Cycling announced Thursday morning the athletes who will represent the United States in Mexico. Leading the squad will be 2012 world time trial silver medalist Stevens (Specialized lululemon). She will race the time trial, as will McGrath (Twenty16).

McGrath, Guarnier (Boels Dolmans), Kinsella (Optum), and Komanski (Twenty16) will link up in the road race.

For the men, Justin Mauch (Airgas Cycling) and Chris Putt (Bissell Development) will team up to represent the United States in the men’s U23 ranks.

Elite women

Megan Guarnier, road race
Maura Kinsella, road race
Lauren Komanski, road race
Kristin McGrath, road race and time trial
Evelyn Stevens, time trial

U23 Men

Justin Mauch, road race and time trial
Chris Putt, road race and time trial