USA Cycling nominates 51 to U.S. team for Mountain Bike World Championships

News

Colorado Springs, Colo. (August 5, 2011) – USA Cycling announced Friday the 51 athletes nominated to represent the United States at the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Champery, Switzerland, from Aug. 29-Sept. 4.

The athletes who earned automatic nominations were selected by using USA Cycling’s Athlete Nomination criteria.

Fourteen riders, seven men and seven women, will compete for world titles in the elite cross country races. As the winner of the elite men’s cross-country race at the 2011 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships, Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized) earned one of four automatic nominations to the squad. The other automatic nominees are: Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek), Adam Craig (Bend, Ore./Giant) and Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Trek). Horgan-Kobelski (35th), Craig (40th) and Schultz (42nd) each earned automatic nominations by virtue of being ranked within the top 50 of the UCI Individual World Rankings. Joining them will be discretionary selections Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va./Cannondale Factory Racing), Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) and Spencer Paxson (Seattle, Wash./Kona Bicycles).

Five women received automatic nominations to compete in the elite women’s contest in Champery, Switzerland. In addition finishing fifth at the World Cup event in Windham, N.Y. on July 9, Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna), who is ranked ninth in the UCI Individual World Rankings, earned her automatic nomination by winning the national championship cross-country race. Joining Gould as automatic nominees will be Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./RaboBank-Giant), Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized), Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek), and Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes). Compton (29th), Irmiger (20th) and McConneloug (14th) each are ranked within the top 30 of the UCI’s Individual World Ranking to warrant an automatic nomination while Davison’s topping the 2011 USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross-Country (Pro XCT) standings earned her a spot. Judy Freeman (Brighton, Colo./Kenda-Felt MTB) and Krista Park (Madison, S.D./Cannondale-No Tubes) will join them as discretionary selections.

In all, the U.S. team will have 12 riders contesting either the U23 or junior men’s or women’s races. As the winners of their respective national championship races, U23 winners Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./BMC MTB Development) and Jill Behlen (Boulder, Colo.) as well as junior 17-18 winners Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo) and AliciaRose Pastore (Durango, Colo./Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory DEVO Sweet Elite) earned spots on the team. Grotts currently sits in fourth among junior men while Pastore is third among junior women in the UCI’s World Cup rankings. Also riding in the men’s U23 race will be discretionary selections Russell Finsterwald (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek), Jack Hinkens (Eden Prairie, Minn./BMC MTB Development) and Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC MTB Development) while Kaila Hart (Durango, Colo./Fort Lewis College) joins Behlen. In the junior men’s race, Richard Cypress Gorry (Payson, Ariz./AZ Devo), Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Whole Athlete-Specialized) and Casey Williams (Big Bear City, Calif.) will join Grotts as discretionary selections. Grace Alexander (Boise, Idaho/BYRDS) will contest the junior women’s race with Pastore.

Leading the 10 elite American downhill riders will be the top-ranked rider in the World Cup rankings, Aaron Gwin (Temecula, Calif./Trek), who earned an automatic nomination. Gwin also won four of the five World Cup downhill races, thus far. Also receiving an automatic nomination is the leader of the 2011 USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT), Cody Warren (Alpine, Calif./DRD X-Fusion Intense). The women’s downhill contingent will be led by automatic nominees Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz./All Mountain Cyclery-Vixen Racing) and Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./RedBull-Transition Racing). Kintner currently leads the women’s Pro GRT standings and is ranked 13th in the UCI Elite Women Downhill World Cup rankings. Harmony earned her automatic nomination by virtue of being ranked 11th in the UCI rankings. Competing as discretionary selections in the men’s elite race will be Logan Binggeli (Saint George, Utah/KHS Bicycles), Curtis Keene (Fremont, Calif.), Duncan Riffle (Santa Barbara, Calif./Giant MTB Team), Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah/SPS North America) and Luke Strobel (Issaquah, Wash./MS Evil). Joanna Petterson (Jericho, Vt.) will join Harmony and Kintner as a discretionary selection in the women’s race.

Of the nine American contestants, four junior riders, three men and one woman, earned automatic nominations to compete in the junior men’s and women’s downhill contests in Champery. Neko Mulally (Reading, Pa./Trek), Austin Warren (Alpine, Calif./DRD X-Fusion Intense) and Trevor Trinkino (Evergreen, Colo./Yeti RPM) will contest the men’s race while Lauren Daney (Stafford, Va./Specialized-GROM Racing) will compete in the women’s junior downhill competition. Mulally earned an automatic nomination after placing second in the 2010 World Championships and by strong showings at three different World Cup events earlier this season. Trinkino posted the fastest time among a qualified pool of athletes at the Winter Park Crankworx to earn his automatic nomination. Warren earned his automatic nomination by placing 23rd in the World Cup event in Windham, N.Y. Daney earned her automatic nomination by placing 20th in the women’s elite downhill at the World Cup event in Windham, N.Y. Nate Furbee (Los Osos, Calif.), Austin Hackett Klaube (Dillon, Colo.), Kiran MacKinnon (Aromas, Calif.), Austin Warren (Alpine, Calif./DRD X-Fusion Intense) and Christian Wright (League City, Texas/Team Spincycle) will compete in the junior men’s race as discretionary selections.

The U.S. contingent will feature three male discretionary selections contesting the four-cross race. Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif.), Lear Miller (Sedona, Ariz.) and Erik Nelson (Gilbert, Ariz.) were chosen to compete in the four-cross competition.

In addition to the downhill competitions, the World Championships will also feature elite four-cross competitions for gravity racers. The U.S. squad will be led by automatic nominee Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz./KHS Bicycles) who earned an automatic nomination by being placing second at each of the World Cup events in Leogang, Austria and Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, in addition being ranked sixth in the UCI World Cup MNT Cross rankings. Joanna Petterson (Jericho, Vt.) and Neven Steinmetz (Boulder, Colo./Ellsworth-Smile Generation) will join Buhl as discretionary selections.

The U.S. team will also feature one trials rider, Ryder Okumura (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo), who competed in the 2003 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships as a junior, placing 27th in the Elite 20 Trials competition.

The complete U.S. Team roster is listed below.

The 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships has a complete schedule, news, expected participants and more.

2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
Champery, Switzerland
Aug. 29-Sept. 4

Elite Men Cross-Country
Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va./Cannondale Factory Racing)
Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes)
Adam Craig (Bend, Ore./Rabobank-Giant)
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek)
Spencer Paxson (Seattle, Wash./Kona Bicycles)
Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Trek)
Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized)

Elite Women Cross-Country
Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./ RaboBank-Giant)
Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized)
Judy Freeman (Brighton, Colo./Kenda-Felt MTB)
Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna Pro Team)
Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek)
Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./ Kenda-Seven-NoTubes)
Krista Park (Madison, S.D./Cannondale-No Tubes)

U23 Men Cross-Country
Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./BMC MTB Development)
Russell Finsterwald (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek)
Jack Hinkens (Eden Prairie, Minn./BMC MTB Development)
Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC MTB Development)

U23 Women Cross-Country
Jill Behlen (Boulder, Colo./University of Wyoming)
Kaila Hart (Durango, Colo./Fort Lewis College)

Junior Men Cross-Country
Richard Cypress Gorry (Payson, Ariz./AZ Devo)
Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo)
Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Whole Athlete-Specialized)
Casey Williams (Big Bear City, Calif.)

Junior Women Cross-Country
Grace Alexander (Boise, Idaho/BYRDS)
AliciaRose Pastore (Durango, Colo./Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory DEVO Sweet Elite)

Elite Men Downhill
Logan Binggeli (Saint George, Utah/KHS Bicycles)
Aaron Gwin (Temecula, Calif./Trek)
Curtis Keene (Fremont, Calif.)
Duncan Riffle (Santa Barbara, Calif./Giant MTB Team)
Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah/SPS North America)
Luke Strobel (Issaquah, Wash./MS Evil)
Cody Warren (Alpine, Calif./DRD X-Fusion Intense)

Elite Women Downhill
Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz./All Mountain Cyclery-Vixen Racing)
Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./RedBull-Transition Racing)
Joanna Petterson (Jericho, Vt.)

Junior Men Downhill
Nate Furbee (Los Osos, Calif.)
Austin Hackett Klaube (Dillon, Colo.)
Kiran MacKinnon (Aromas, Calif.)
Neko Mulally (Reading, Pa./Trek)
Trevor Trinkino (Evergreen, Colo./Yeti RPM)
Austin Warren (Alpine, Calif./DRD X-Fusion Intense)
Christian Wright (League City, Texas/Team Spincycle)

Junior Women Downhill
Lauren Daney (Stafford, Va./Specialized-GROM Racing)

Men Four Cross
Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif.)
Lear Miller (Sedona, Ariz.)
Erik Nelson (Gilbert, Ariz.)

Women Four Cross
Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz./KHS Bicycles)
Joanna Petterson (Jericho, Vt.)
Neven Steinmetz (Boulder, Colo./Ellsworth-Smile Generation)

Trial Rider
Ryder Okumura (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo)

Source: Dave Gaylinn, USA Cycling
www.usacycling.org

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