USA Cycling will not be fielding the maximum allowed number of riders in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Bogense, Denmark next month since, for the first time in several years, the country failed to crack the top five in the nations rankings to earn six riders for the elite men's race.
While the US women were ranked number 1 in the world, the men - thanks in part due to the illness and injuries of Jeremy Powers and Stephen Hyde - are ranked eighth behind top-ranked Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the Swiss, Czech, Italian and Spanish programmes.
USA Cycling came under criticism for opting to choose four instead of the maximum five allowed riders for the U23 Women's race at Worlds, saying that only three riders had met the selection criteria, and one rider was chosen based on 'future medal capability'.
The full roster of elite women will be headed up by 15-time national champion Katie Compton, ranked 8th in the world, Katie Keough (4th), Ellen Noble (14th) with Samantha Runnels (32nd), Elle Anderson (33rd) and Rebecca Fahringer (34th) rounding out the squad.
National champion Stephen Hyde and Pan-American champion Curtis White will lead the elite men's squad with top-ranked Kerry Werner (18th), Anthony Clark (39th) and Cody Kaiser (57th). Tobin Ortenblad and Jamey Driscoll declined selection due to injuries, while Jack Kisseberth also qualified but declined his position.
Jesse Anthony, USA Cycling's Cyclo-cross manager, said the country was fielding strong teams for both elite races.
"On the women's side, we have a range of experience levels from Samantha Runnels' inaugural World Championship race, to American Cyclocross queen, Katie Compton," Anthony said. "The potential for a podium in Bogense is very high, and the women's race will be hotly contested.
"On the men's side, we've seen consistent progression from riders like Curtis White and Kerry Werner throughout the season. I expect some exceptional performances from this very motivated group."
USA Cycling for UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships:
Elite Women: Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek and Knight Composites), Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing CX), Samantha Runnels (Squid Squad), Elle Anderson (Milwaukee – AlphaMotorhomes), Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano CX)
Elite Men: Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano CX), Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), Anthony Clark (Squid Squad), Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins/Specialized).