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By VeloNews Interactive
USA Cycling has delayed making a formal announcement naming the 2004 U.S. Olympic mountain-bike team pending the official release of the latest UCI rankings, the national governing body said on Tuesday.
Asked when the announcement might be expected, USAC communications manager Andy Lee replied: “I have no estimate. It is dependent upon the publication of UCI rankings, which were supposed to be out on Monday. We were told by the UCI they would be done by the end of the day yesterday, and they weren’t, so all I can tell you is an announcement will be made following the publication of new UCI rankings for July 12.”
That next set of rankings will include results from Sunday’s UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships, where the two rivals for the lone U.S. women’s spot on the team – Sue Haywood and Mary McConneloug – finished ninth and 24th, respectively.
Going into Sunday’s marathon world championships, McConneloug had 1411 points to Haywood’s 1355, according to USAC. Haywood scored 119 points while McConneloug collected 77, which would give McConneloug 1488 and Haywood 1474.
There is also a matter of 15 points for Haywood’s third-place finish at the 2003 NORBA NCS short-track at Sandpoint, Idaho, which Lee said “will be recognized by USA Cycling in terms of Olympic selection and added to the official UCI rankings as of July 12, 2004.”
“The problem is, as of yet there are no official UCI rankings as of July 12 to add those points to,” Lee continued. “Given the sophisticated nature of how UCI ranking is determined, we need an official number to go off of instead of simply taking the points on July 6, marathon results, and those missing points and then adding them all together.
“Although it seems like a fairly simple calculation, when Olympic selection is on the line and it is so obviously close between two deserving candidates, we want to make sure, 100 percent, of the accuracy of the calculations, which are primarily based on UCI rankings as of July 12, which have simply not yet been published.”