U23 MTB racers decide whether they will race elite World Cups

Top-ranked young riders choose their category for 2012

The UCI released the list of top ranked riders in the men's and women's under 23 categories and specified which riders will compete with the elite racers in the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

Since the UCI separated the elite and U23 categories, it has allowed the top-ranked 10 men and five women in the U23 category to decide whether they will race with their fellow U23s throughout the World Cup or move up early into the elite category.  Either way, all U23 riders still have to race in their category at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.  Racers make the decision prior to the first World Cup and then must stick to it all season until Worlds.

Among the U23 men, only two racers elected to compete with the elites at the World Cups: Henk Jaap Moorlag of the Netherlands and Marek Konwa of Poland.  Top ranked Gerhard Kerschbaumer of Italy decided to stay among the U23s.

A majority of the eligible U23 women have decided to race up, including top ranked Annie Last of Great Britain, Anne Terpstra of The Netherlands and Pauline Ferrand Prevot of France. 

A complete list of U23 riders eligible to race with the elites is below.  Their UCI ranking and points are listed as of December 31, 2011.

The U23 racers will compete in the first 2012 MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on March 16-18.

U23 Racers eligible to compete in elite World Cups in 2012

Men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
17 Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) 955 (U23)  pts
19 Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) 886 (Elite)  
36 Marek Konwa (Pol) 598 (Elite)  
49 Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) 480 (U23)  
50 Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) 474 (U23)  
60 Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) 409 (U23)  
68 Ruben Scheire (Bel) 326 (U23)  
71 Michiel Van Der Heijden (Ned) 312 (U23)  
83 Ondrej Cink (Cze) 294 (U23)  
108 Dmytro Titarenko (Ukr) 231 (U23)  
Women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
13 Annie Last (GBr) 1072 (Elite)  pts
23 Yana Belomoyna (Ukr) 809 (U23)  
27 Barbara Benko (Hun) 768 (U23)  
32 Anne Terpstra (Ned) 693 (Elite)  
35 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) 634 (Elite)  

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