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Riders Make The Initial Cut To Represent the United States in Italy This Summer

USA Cycling announced today automatic nominations to the 2005 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Livigno, Italy August 31 to September 4. 25 riders in several disciplines and categories made the initial cut to represent the United States at the annual world-class championship event while further discretionary selections will be announced on August 5.

Six elite women cross country riders also got the nod as Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass.), Willow Koerber (Horseshoe, N.C.), Shonny Vanlandingham (Durango, Colo.), Alison Dunlap (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Kelli Emmett (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.) met the automatic selection criteria.

McConneloug’s consistency at world cup events in which she rode to three top-five finishes solidified her spot on the team. With fifth-place efforts in Houffalize , Belgium , Willengen , Germany and Mont-Sainte-Anne, McConneloug is currently ranked fifth in the overall world cup standings and has the most international experience this year amongst the nominees.

Koerber, Vanlandingham, and Dunalp all share top-five finishes in world cups as well as Koerber and Vanlandingham earned fourth-place finishes in the Mont-Sainte-Anne and Angel Fire, N.M. world cups respectively. Dunlap’s fifth-place ride in Angel Fire proves the two-time Olympian and 2001 World Champion still has the talent in the final year of her storied career as a professional cyclist.

Emmett is ranked 10th in the overall UCI World Cup standings, thus earning an invitation to Italy while Haywood earned her spot as the current leader of the Shimano NORBA National Mountain Bike Series.

Danae York ( Indio , Calif. ) and Chloe Forsman ( Boulder , Colo. ) will represent the junior women’s cross country category as each rider automatically qualified. York ’s lead in the NORBA series landed her the nomination while Forsman swept the last three world championship selection events in Deer Valley , Utah , Sandpoint , Idaho and Aspen , Colo.

A talented crop of gravity riders also qualified for the world championships including several medal hopefuls.

The elite women’s 4-cross pool is also filled with potential medalists as Jill Kintner ( Seattle , Wash. ), Tara Llanes ( Los Alamitos , Calif. ) and Melissa Buhl ( Chandler , Ariz. ) will head to Italy . Kintner and Llanes both medaled at last year’s world championships with a silver and bronze respectively and are both enjoying successful seasons in 2005. Kintner’s two world cup wins in Vigo and Mont-Sainte-Anne confirmed her spot on this year’s squad while Llanes rode to a fourth place finish in Angel Fire to make the team.

With two second place performances on the NORBA circuit this season in Deer Valley and Sandpoint, Buhl is the leader of the overall NORBA series standings.

The elite women’s downhill will feature Kathy Pruitt ( Lake Almanor , Calif. ) who automatically qualified with two top-five world cup performances, placing third in Vigo and fifth in Angel Fire.

The final U.S. squad for the 2005 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships will be announced on August 5.

2005 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships Aug. 31-Sept. 5
Livigno , Italy

U.S. Automatic Nominations

Elite Women Cross Country
Mary McConneloug ( Chilmark , Mass. )
Willow Koerber (Horseshoe, N.C.)
Shonny Vanlandingham ( Durango , Colo. )
Alison Dunlap ( Colorado Springs , Colo. )
Kelli Emmett ( Colorado Springs , Colo. )
Susan Haywood ( Davis , W. Va. )

Junior Women Cross Country
Danae York ( Indio , Calif. )
Chloe Forsman ( Boulder , Colo. )

Elite Women Downhill
Kathy Pruitt ( Lake Almanor , Calif. )

Elite Women 4-Cross
Jill Kintner ( Seattle , Wash. )
Tara Llanes ( Los Alamitos , Calif. )
Melissa Buhl ( Chandler , Ariz. )




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