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Sayers to lead U.S. worlds team, selections announced

Former pro Michael Sayers will direct a strong U.S. men’s national team at the upcoming world championships in Gelong, Australia on October 3.

Former pro Michael Sayers will direct a strong U.S. men’s national team at the upcoming world championships in Gelong, Australia on October 3.

2010 Vattenfall Cyclassics, Tyler Farrar
Tyler Farrar is thought to be the U.S.'s top medal hope.

According to selection criteria released Wednesday based on national rankings, the U.S men’s selection will include a maximum of nine starting riders, putting the U.S. squad on the same level as the top European teams and at a distinct numerical advantage over others, such as Great Britain or Norway, which only received three slots.

Sayers is an assistant sports director at BMC and the rider selection for the elite men’s world’s team will be announced September 17 by USA Cycling.

“When I rode in the words in 2002 in Zolder, you could tell the Italians were really doing it the right way,” Sayers said in a statement. “I think American cycling is moving in the right direction and USA Cycling is showing a continued commitment to excellence. I’m proud to have been selected to be a part of this team.”

The selection numbers released by the UCI will mean that the U.S. team will be starting with the same number of riders as European powerhouses Italy, Spain, Holland and host nation Australia.

The U.S. men’s team will head to the worlds with its best medal chance in years with sprinter Tyler Farrar expected to captain the squad on a challenging route that suits Farrar’s characteristics.

“The worlds are quite a big priority for me this season,” Farrar told VeloNews. “There’s a hard climb and if the tactics play out, it could be a sprint from a small to medium-sized group. That’s ideal for me as well.”

While Farrar will enjoy maximum support, riders such as Mark Cavendish (GBR) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) will only see the help of two teammates. It’s a difference that could prove pivotal in the battle for the rainbow jersey.

Team sizes for 2010 world championships

  • Nine riders: Belgium, Italy, Spain, Australia, USA, Russia, Switzerland, Germany and Holland
    Seven: France, Slovenia
  • Six: Kazakhstan, Colombia, Venezuela, Poland, Portugal, Ukraine, Denmark, Morocco, Iran
  • Four: Luxembourg
  • Three: South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Slovakia, Japan, Korea, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Ireland, Norway, Great Britian, Austria, Serbia, New Zealand
  • Two: Belorussia, Sweden
  • One: Uzbekistan, Cuba, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Letonia, Greece, Romania