12 discretionary nominations to US 'cross world's team

USA Cycling announced today discretionary nominations to the team that will represent the United States at the 2007 UCI cyclo-cross world championships in Hooglede-Grits, Belgium January 27-28, 2007.

Discretionary nominations were made based on petitions by athletes who met specific performance standards throughout the 2006 season.

In the elite women's category, four additional athletes were named. Christine Vardaros (Lotto-Belisol), Kerry Barnholt (Tokyo Joe's-Maxiss), Deidre Winfield (Velo Bella-Kona) and Rhonda Mazza (Team S&M-Vanilla Bicycles) were selected.

Vardaros earned a discretionary pick with a top-15 placing at a UCI World Cup. Vardaros placed 14th at the Kalmthout World Cup in October to become eligible. Both Barnholt and Winfield earned their eligibility last weekend at the USA Cycling cyclo-cross national championships with top-five finishes. Barnholt placed third behind Compton and Gould, while Winfield placed fourth. Mazza's promising season included a sixth-place effort at the national championships and an eighth-place overall ranking in the USGP.

In the U23 men's division, four additional athletes were named as Bjorn Selander (Alan Factory Team), Chance Noble, (California Giant Strawberries-Specialized), Nick Weighall (Alan Factory Team) and Dan Neyens (Hagens-Berman LLP) all met discretionary criteria.

Selander placed third at the national championships and eighth overall in the USGP to earn consideration, while Noble placed fifth at the national championships and finished the six-race USGP ranked third. Weighall's fifth-place ranking in the USGP and sixth-place effort at the national championships illustrated his talent as did a sixth-place USGP overall finish and ninth-place ride at the national championships for Neyens.

Four junior men complete the initial discretionary nominations - Nicholas Keough (CL Noonan-Coast to Coast-KAM), Sean Worsech (Rad Racing NW), Jerome Townsend (Alan Factory Team) and Carson Miller (Fred Miller-Lakeside).

Keough placed fifth at the national championships to meet discretionary criteria, while Woresch placed second overall in the USGP series. Townsend showed significant improvement throughout the season with sixth-place finishes at the national championships and in the USGP. Miller also rode a solid season with an eighth-place effort at the national championships and a 12th-place USGP ranking.

Twelve athletes were previously named Wednesday after five automatic nominations - Danny Summerhill (TIAA-CREF-Clif Bar), Jamey Driscoll (FiordiFrutta), Jesse Anthony (Clif Bar), Katie Compton (Spike) and Georgia Gould (Luna) were announced Monday based on their performance at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships and the Crank brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross.

Automatic selections for the elite men's category will be announced January 9th and discretionary picks January 10th.

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