USA Cycling names potential Olympians

USA Cycling has named the 35 cyclists eligible to represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games. The national governing body has selected a Long Team of eligible athletes in men's and women's mountain bike and women's road cycling. Its Talent Pool of track athletes will serve as a list of riders from which the Olympic team will named. Five women road racers met automatic nomination criteria while two were discretionary selections. Automatically named to the Long Team include Kristin Armstrong, Amber Neben, Tina Mayolo-Pic, Mara Abbott and Christine Thorburn.

USA Cycling has named the 35 cyclists eligible to represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games.

The national governing body has selected a Long Team of eligible athletes in men’s and women’s mountain bike and women’s road cycling. Its Talent Pool of track athletes will serve as a list of riders from which the Olympic team will named.

Five women road racers met automatic nomination criteria while two were discretionary selections. Automatically named to the Long Team include Kristin Armstrong, Amber Neben, Tina Mayolo-Pic, Mara Abbott and Christine Thorburn.

Armstrong earned her nomination as a silver medalist in the time trial at the 2007 UCI Road World Championships last September in Stuttgart, Germany. The other four made the Long Team based on international ranking according to the December 31, 2007, edition of the UCI Road Rankings. As the top-five Americans in the rankings, Neben (ninth), Armstrong (18th), Mayolo-Pic (34th), Abbott (39th) and Thorburn (62nd) were assured automatic bids to the Long Team.

The two discretionary nominations went to Kori Seehafer and Alison Powers based on 2007 results. Ranked 85th in the world, Seehafer won a stage, wore the leader’s jersey for three days and finished 18th overall at La Route de France Feminine. Powers finished the 2007 season ranked 103rd., collecting a gold medal in the time trial at the Pan American Championships, a third-place finish at the Memorial Davide Fardelli Time Trial in Italy and a seventh-place overall finish at Le Grand Tour du Montreal.

Eleven mountain bikers were also nominated to the Long Team, including six men and five women.

Five men received automatic nominations as the top-five Americans in the UCI Mountain Bike Rankings on December 31, provided they were in the top 60 overall – Adam Craig, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Todd Wells, Jeremiah Bishop and Michael Broderick. Craig was the highest-ranked U.S. rider in 16th, followed by Horgan-Kobelski in 28th, Wells in 32nd, Bishop in 37th and Broderick in 59th.

Ranked 75th in the world as the sixth American, Sam Schultz received the only discretionary nomination.

A similar model was used to select the women’s mountain bike team as four athletes earned automatic nominations. Georgia Gould, Mary McConneloug, Willow Koerber and Heather Irmiger were selected as the top-four Americans in the UCI Mountain Bike Rankings on December 31, provided they were in the top 40 overall. Gould and McConneloug both finished the season in the top 10, ranked sixth and seventh respectively, while Koerber finished the year ranked 11th and Irmiger 26th.

Sue Haywood was the sole discretionary nomination. She finished the year ranked 47th in the world as the next-best American.

In track cycling, athletes must first qualify for the 2008 USA Cycling Talent Pool to represent the U.S. in Beijing. Following the third round of the 2007-08 UCI Track World Cup Classics circuit in Los Angeles last weekend, the final Talent Pool roster has been determined.

The women’s endurance squad consists of two-time individual pursuit world champion Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch, Lauren Franges, Christen King, Becky Quinn and Armstrong. The two sprinters named to the Talent Pool include Jennie Reed and Liz Reap.

Four sprinters and five endurance riders earned nominationsl. Sprinters include Michael Blatchford, Adam Duvendeck, Andy Lakatosh and Giddeon Massie. Endurance riders eligible for the Beijing Games include Michael Friedman, Brad Huff, Bobby Lea, Colby Pearce and Taylor Phinney.

The Long Team rosters for men’s and women’s BMX racing – the newest addition to the Olympic program – will be announced following the 2008 UCI BMX World Championships in Taiyuan, China, May 29-June 1. Selections will be based on international rankings following the world championships.

The selection process for the men’s road squad does not include the naming of a Long Team. Instead, the team that will represent the United States in Beijing will be determined by results at major international events throughout the 2007-08 racing seasons. To date, Levi Leipheimer is the only athlete to have met the automatic nomination criteria based on his third-place overall finish at the 2007 Tour de France.

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Long Team and USA Cycling Talent Pool
Women’s road

1. Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo.)
2. Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho)
3. Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.)
4. Tina Mayolo-Pic (Buford, Ga.)
5. Alison Powers (Boulder, Colo.)
6. Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo.)
7. Christine Thorburn (Sunnyvale, Calif.)

Mountain bike
Men

1. Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va.)
2. Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass.)
3. Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.)
4. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.)
5. Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.)
6. Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont.)

Women
1. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo.)
2. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo.)
3. Willow Koerber (Asheville, N.C.)
4. Mary McConneloug (Fairfax, Calif.)
5. Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.)

Track
Men

1. Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif.)
2. Adam Duvendeck (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
3. Michael Friedman (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
4. Brad Huff (Fair Grove, Mo.)
5. Andy Lakatosh (Trexlertown, Pa.)
6. Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa.)
7. Giddeon Massie (Zionhill, Pa.)
8. Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.)
9. Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.)

Women
1. Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho)
2. Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif.)
3. Lauren Franges (Asheville, N.C.)
4. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif.)
5. Christen King (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
6. Becky Quinn (Quakertown, Pa.)
7. Liz Reap (Jim Thorpe, Pa.)
8. Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.)