Huck replaces Woodruff on USA Cycling's Olympic MTB team
Huck joins Batten, Courtney reportedly after arbitration
USA Cycling announced on Thursday that Chloe Woodruff has resigned her place on the USA's team for the July 27 Olympic Games Mountain Bike cross country race in Tokyo and has been replaced by Erin Huck, 40. However, a report by the Associated Press adds more to the federation's assertion that Woodruff has withdrawn for 'personal reasons'.
Woodruff, 33, was named to the team last month along with former World Champion Kate Courtney and World Cup winner Emily Batten. Woodruff, who competed in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, was part of a team effort to gain enough UCI points to earn the maximum three places for her country in Tokyo. Huck was named as the alternate for the women's cross country event.
However, Woodruff was positioned well below Huck in the UCI rankings both in 2020 and 2021. According to the Associated Press, the selection by the eight-member selection committee led Huck to request an arbitration hearing, according to an anonymous source.
Allen Krughoff, a filmmaker and photographer who has worked with Huck, said on Instagram that the "arbitrator agreed that selection committee didn’t follow their own protocol, leaving Erin off the team, and sent the decision back to selection committee" but has since edited the post to read "[redacted]". Arbitration decisions take place behind closed doors and are normally confidential.
Woodruff, the 2019 national champion, won two races in 2020, the Puerto Rico MTB Cup and Tropical MTB Challenge before the pandemic shut down racing. Since then, Huck has out-paced Woodruff, finishing 15th and 16th in the Albstadt and Nove Mesto World Cup races where Woodruff finished 30th and 64th, respectively.
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By Jackie Tyson