USA Cycling has announced the first round of nominations to the United States National Team for the 2009 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
Five athletes were named to each of the elite women's, U23 men's and junior men's squads based on competitive performances over the course of the last year.
After capturing her fifth consecutive USA Cycling Cylco-cross National title, Katie Compton (Spike) received an automatic nomination and will lead the elite women's squad. Compton is currently ranked third in the world behind Dutchwoman Daphny van den Brand and World Cup leader Hanka Kupfernagel. After her silver-medal-performance at the World Championships in 2006, with two World Cup victories and a trio of top-three finishes already this season, Compton is not only an automatic qualifier to the squad, but looks to be a favorite in Hoogerheide.
Georgia Gould (Luna), the winner of the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Calendar, is another automatic qualifier for the elite women's squad. After finishing second at the recent USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships and third in the sixth round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup series in France on Dec. 21, the Olympic mountain biker also looks to be a serious contender on the cyclo-cross world stage.
Discretionary nominations to the elite women's team went to Rachel Lloyd (California Giant Berry Farms), Laura Van Gilder (C3-Sollay) and Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale.com).
In the U23 men's division, Nick Weighall (Rad Racing) earned the only automatic nomination to the team with his victory at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships. Discretionary selections to the men's U23 team went to Nicholas Keough (Jittery Joe's-Sonic Cyclo-cross), Daniel Summerhill (Clif Bar), Bjorn Selander (Ridley Factory Team) and Will Dugan (RGM Watches).
With a fifth-place finish in the junior race at the Pijnacker World Cup, Luke Keough (CL Noonan) earned one of two automatic nominations to the junior men's team. Zach McDonald (Classic Cycles) earned the other after narrowly defeating Keough at the 2008 USA Cycling Cylco-cross National Championships in Kansas City.
Gavin Mannion (Hot Tubes), Eric Emsky (Rad Racing) and Chris Wallace (KCCX-Verge) all earned discretionary nominations and will make up the remainder of the junior men's squad.
The elite men's nominations will be announced on Jan. 14 following the next round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Belgium.