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USA Cycling names 'long team' for Beijing
Riders Named Across Road, Track, MTB
"USA Cycling would like to congratulate the athletes that have thus far earned nominations"
USA Cycling announced today the athletes that are eligible to represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in the disciplines of mountainbike, track and road racing.
As part of its nomination process, USA Cycling named a 'Long Team' of eligible athletes in the disciplines of mountain bike and road cycling. Additionally, its Talent Pool of track athletes will serve as a list of riders from which this summer's Olympic Team will named.
In the discipline of road cycling, five athletes met automatic nomination criteria while two were nominated to the Long Team by virtue of discretionary selections. Athletes automatically named to the Long Team include Kristin Armstrong, Amber Neben, Tina Mayolo-Pic, Mara Abbott and Christine Thorburn.
Armstrong earned her nomination as a silver medalist in the time trial at the 2007 UCI Road World Championships last September in Stuttgart, Germany. The other four automatic nominees earned their spots on the Long Team based on their individual international ranking according to the December 31, 2007 edition of the UCI Road Rankings. As the top-five Americans in the rankings, Neben (9th), Armstrong (18th), Mayolo-Pic (34th), Abbott (39th) and Thorburn (62nd) were assured automatic bids to the Long Team.
The two discretionary nominations went to Kori Seehafer and Alison Powers based on competitive results throughout the 2007 racing season. Ranked 85th in the world, Seehafer showed strong mid-season form with career-best performances at La Route de France Feminine in which she won a stage, wore the leader's jersey for three days and finished 18th overall. Powers finished the 2007 season ranked 103rd. Notable results for Powers included a gold medal in the time trial at the Pan American Championships, a third-place finish at the Memorial Davide Fardelli Time Trial in Italy and a seventh-place overall finish at Le Grand Tour du Montreal.
Road Long Team
1. Mara Abbott*
2. Kristin Armstrong*
3. Amber Neben*
4. Tina Mayolo-Pic*
5. Alison Powers**
6. Kori Seehafer**
7. Christine Thorburn*
In the discipline of track cycling, athletes must first qualify for the 2008 USA Cycling Talent Pool in order to be eligible to represent the U.S. in Beijing. Following the third round of the 2007-08 UCI Track World Cup Classics circuit in Los Angeles last weekend, the final Talent Pool roster has been determined.
The track endurance squad consists of two-time individual pursuit world champion Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif.), Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif.), Lauren Franges (Asheville, N.C.), Christen King (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Becky Quinn (Quakertown, Pa.) and Armstrong. The two sprinters who were named to the Talent Pool include Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.) and Liz Reap (Jim Thorpe, Pa.).
Track Talent Pool
1. Kristin Armstrong**
2. Dotsie Bausch*
3. Lauren Franges**
4. Sarah Hammer*
5. Christen King*
6. Becky Quinn*
7. Liz Reap*
8. Jennie Reed*
Five mountain bike athletes were nominated to the Olympic Long Team. Four athletes earned automatic nominations. Georgia Gould, Mary McConneloug, Willow Koerber and Heather Irmiger were selected as the top-four Americans in the UCI Mountain Bike Rankings on December 31, 2007 provided they were in the top 40 overall. Gould and McConneloug both finished the season in the top ten, ranked sixth and seventh respectively, while Koerber finished the year ranked 11th and Irmiger 26th.
Sue Haywood was the sole discretionary nomination to the women's mountain bike Long Team. She finished the year ranked 47th in the world as the next-best American.
MTB Long Team
1. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo.)*
2. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo.)*
3. Willow Koerber (Asheville, N.C.)*
4. Mary McConneloug (Fairfax, Calif.)*
5. Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.)**
"USA Cycling would like to congratulate the athletes that have thus far earned nominations to the 2008 Olympic Long Team," said Pat McDonough, USA Cycling Director of Athletics. "Their hard work and determination to succeed has helped raise the level of American cycling to remarkable heights and their collective accomplishments are indicative of the United States' ability to be a legitimate medal contender across all four disciplines of competitive cycling in Beijing. The athletes on this list have either proven their capabilities to win medals in major international events or illustrated the potential to do so in the future."
The Long Team rosters for BMX racing - the newest addition to the Olympic program - will be announced following the 2008 UCI BMX World Championships in Taiyuan, China, May 29 - June 1. Selections will be based on international rankings following the World Championships.
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