During this past weekend's racing in Vermont, many people saw that Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing) was wearing the US National Flag on his left sleeve, as is required under UCI rules for national champions in downhill racing. This, despite the fact that in earlier races this year Logan Binggeli (KHS) was wearing that sleeve.
According to Mulally's Trek World Racing team, the UCI has declared Mulally the 2011 US Downhill National Champion and informed USA Cycling about this decision.
The confusion stems from the fact that even though Mulally rode the fastest time on the day at the 2011 US National Championships, he was told to ride the junior category as per his age in 2011. He was awarded the junior national title by USA Cycling and Binggeli was awarded the elite title. However the UCI does not, at national championship level, recognize the junior category and as the results were awarded UCI points based on scratch results (irrespective of category), Mulally, as the fastest rider, is the national champion under UCI rules. This is also the case in Canada and Norway this year.
This means for the next two World Cups in Mont-Sainte-Anne and Windham, Mulally will proudly be running the US National Champion sleeve, alongside Justin Leov in his New Zealand National Champion sleeve. Mulally will also run this at the Highland Park US Grand Prix, before going to Beech Mountain, North Carolina on July 21 and 22 where he will be hoping to defend his two 2011 national titles: dual slalom and the recently acquired downhill.