USA Cycling announces nominations to Mountain Bike World Championship Team


Nominations to Mountain Bike World Championship Team announced

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Aug. 13, 2009)—USA Cycling announced today the 43 athletes that have been nominated to represent the United States at the upcoming 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Canberra, Australia, September 1-6.

In the first Mountain Bike World Championship event since the Olympic Games in Beijing, American cross country athletes will square off against rivals from across the globe in the only Olympic discipline of off-road cycling. Seven men and six women have been nominated to the elite cross country squad.

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Gary Fisher) received the only automatic nomination to the men’s team as USA Cycling Cross Country Mountain Bike National Champion. He is joined by Adam Craig (Bend, Ore./Giant), Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized), Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Gary Fisher), Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda), Carl Decker (Bend, Ore./Giant) and Sam Jurekovic (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sho-air-Specialized) who all received discretionary nominations.

On the women’s side, Willow Koerber (Asheville, N.C./Subaru-Gary Fisher), Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda) and Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Gary Fisher) were automatically nominated – Koerber and McConneloug by virtue of podium performances at UCI World Cup events earlier this season and Irmiger due to her win at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna), Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Judy Freeman (Boulder, Colo.) all received discretionary nominations based upon international results.

In the gravity events, Aaron Gwin (Morongo Valley, Calif./Yeti) received the lone men’s downhill automatic nomination by virtue of his third-place World Cup finish and his national championship in that event. Kyle Strait (Riverside, Calif.), Duncan Riffle (Santa Barbara, Calif./Duncan Riffle Racing), Luke Strobel (Renton, Wash./Maxxis), Cody Warren (El Cajon, Calif./Decline), Brian Lopes (Laguna Beach, Calif./Oakley) and Joey Schusler (Boulder, Colo./Yeti-Fox Shox) received discretionary nominations to the elite men’s downhill team. As the winner of the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships downhill contest, Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz./KHS) received the only automatic nomination to the elite women’s downhill squad. Kathy Pruitt (Santa Cruz, Calif./Jamis) will join her as a discretionary selection.

As the national champion, 17-year-old Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah) received an automatic nomination to the elite men’s 4X squad. Mike Haderer (Concord, Calif.) and Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif.) will join Ropelato on the men’s 4-cross squad as discretionary selections. Buhl and 2008 BMX Olympian Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./Red Bull) both earned automatic nominations to the women’s 4X squad by virtue of multiple World Cup podium performances.

Eleven junior and U23 cross country athletes were also named to the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championship squad that will represent the United States, along with five junior men’s downhillers. See below for the complete list. For more information on USA Cycling’s selection procedures please visit the Athlete Programs portion of the USA Cycling website, or click here.

2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

Canberra, Australia

Sept. 1-6, 2009

U.S. Team Nominations:

Elite Men’s Cross Country

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.)**

Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.)

Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.)

Sam Schultz (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass.)

Carl Decker (Bend, Ore.)

Sam Jurekovic (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Elite Women’s Cross Country

Willow Koerber (Asheville, N.C.)**

Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass.)**

Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo.)**

Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo.)

Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Judy Freeman (Boulder, Colo.)

U23 Men’s Cross Country

Colin Cares (Colorado Springs, Colo.)**

Rob Squire (Sandy, Utah)

Tad Elliott (Durango, Colo.)

U23 Women’s Cross Country

Amy Dombrowski (Boulder, Colo.)**

Chloe Forsman (Tucson, Ariz.)

Junior Men’s Cross Country

Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo.)**

Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, Wash.)

Seth Kemp (Campobello, S.C.)

Eric Emsky (Fall City, Wash.)

Junior Women XCO

Jill Behlen (Boulder, Colo.)**

Essence Barton (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)

Elite Men’s Downhill

Aaron Gwin (Morongo Valley, Calif./Yeti)**

Kyle Strait (Riverside, Calif.)

Duncan Riffle (Santa Barbara, Calif.)

Luke Strobel (Renton, Wash.)

Cody Warren (El Cajon, Calif.)

Brian Lopes (Laguna Beach, Calif.)

Joey Schusler (Boulder, Colo.)

Elite Women’s Downhill

Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.)**

Kathy Pruitt (Santa Cruz, Calif.)

Elite Men’s 4-Cross

Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah)**

Mike Haderer (Concord, Calif.)

Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif.)

Elite Women’s 4-Cross

Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.)**

Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash.)**

Junior Men’s Downhill

Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah)**

Kevin Aiello (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)

Luciano Worl (Woodinville, Wash.)

Tom Neer (Arvada, Colo.)

Geoffrey Ulmer (Troy, N.Y.)

**denotes automatic nomination

About USA Cycling

Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX, and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ licensees including 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 1,800 clubs and teams, 350 professional cyclists, 200 certified mechanics, and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists through various initiatives and programs. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts national championship events for all categories of amateur and professional cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit

source: USA Cycling Media Services

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