USA Cycling Names 14 to Continental Mountain Bike Championships Team

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Colorado Springs, Colo. (March 12, 2012) –USA Cycling announced today the 14 riders named to the U.S. squad for the upcoming Pan American Continental Mountain Bike Championships in Puebla, Mexico, April 4 – 8.

USA Cycling names 14 to Continental Mountain Bike Championships team

Colorado Springs, Colo. (March 12, 2012) –USA Cycling announced today the 14 riders named to the U.S. squad for the upcoming Pan American Continental Mountain Bike Championships in Puebla, Mexico, April 4 – 8.

With five male and five female automatic nominees declining spots on the elite cross country squad due to scheduling conflicts with upcoming world cups, and no discretionary petitions received by the posted deadline, the United States will not be sending any representatives to Mexico in the elite men’s and women’s cross country divisions.

Four young, rising stars will however represent the United States in the U23 men’s cross country division. Jack Hinkens (Eden Prairie, Minn./BMC MTB Dev. Team) and Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C.BMC MTB Dev. Team) received automatic nominations due to their position as the top- ranked American U23 males in the UCI rankings. Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Subaru-Trek) who earned eighth place in the U23 men’s race at the 2011 Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup will join the team, along with USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross Country junior men’s national champion Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Team Specialized Racing) who also won the junior men’s division at the Windham World Cup last season. No U23 women automatically qualified for the squad and no petitions were received.

Two juniors, both discretionary selections, will represent the USA in Puebla. Currently ranked 18th in the UCI overall rankings, Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Whole Athlete-Cannondale Factory Racing) will race the junior men’s cross country event. Silver medalist in the junior event at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross Country National Championships and ranked 74th internationally, Grace Alexander (Boise, Idaho/BMC MTB Dev. Team) will contest the junior women’s event.

Six discretionary selections will represent the U.S. in the elite men’s downhill. Junior downhill national champion Neko Mulally (Reading, Pa./Trek World Racing), Brian Buell (Jamestown, Colo./Geronimo) who was ninth at the 2011 Highland Pro GRT, reigning 15-16 downhill national champion Logan Mulally (Reading, Pa.), Max Morgan (Duluth, Ga./Georgia Bicycle Racing Association), runner-up at the Beech Mountain Downhill, bronze medalist at the 2010 Pan Am Continental Mountain Bike Championships downhill Joey Schusler (Boulder, Colo./Yeti Fox Factory) and John Swanguen (San Diego, Calif./ODI-X-Fusion-Intense) who was seventh at the Northstar Pro GRT will make up the powerful squad.

The reigning women’s continental downhill champion Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.) will be joined by Katie Holden (Scotts Valley, Calif./CU Cycling-Boulder) to make up the women’s downhill squad.

Competition is expected to begin Saturday, April 7. Check back to www.usacycling.org to learn how the U.S. team fares in Mexico, or visit the Mexican Cycling Federation’s website.

2012 Pan American Continental Mountain Bike Championships
Puebla, Mexico
April 4-8, 2012

Elite XCO Men
All automatics declined, no petitions

Elite XCO Women
All automatics declined, no petitions

U23 XCO Men
Jack Hinkens (Eden Prairie, Minn./BMC MTB Dev. Team)*
Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C.BMC MTB Dev. Team)*
Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Subaru-Trek)
Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Team Specialized Racing)

U23 XCO Women
No automatics and no petitions

Junior XCO Men
Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Whole Athlete-Cannondale Factory Racing)

Junior XCO Women
Grace Alexander (Boise, Idaho/BMC MTB Dev. Team)

Elite DH Men
Neko Mulally (Reading, Pa./Trek World Racing)
Brian Buell (Jamestown, Colo./Geronimo)
Logan Mulally (Reading, Pa.)
Max Morgan (Duluth, Ga./Georgia Bicycle Racing Association)
Joey Schusler (Boulder, Colo./Yeti Fox Factory)
John Swanguen (San Diego, Calif./ODI-X-Fusion-Intense)

Elite DH Women
Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.)
Katie Holden (Scotts Valley, Calif./CU Cycling-Boulder)

Source: Andrea Smith

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