Following the weekend of national championships around the world, the first countries have named their teams for the 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, which take place in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium at the end of this month. USA Cycling's 31-rider team will be headed up by recent champions Jeremy Powers, Katie Compton, U23 winner Tobin Ortenblad, Ellen Noble in the new women's youth category, and Gage Hecht in the juniors.
Jonathan Page (Fuji) and James Driscoll (Raleigh-Clement) each turned down their selection to compete in the elite men's race. Page stated on Twitter today that he couldn't justify the time, money and sacrifice for his family "due to continued health problems". Page has been suffering from breathing problems since returning from Belgium last summer. His wife is also expecting the birth of their fourth child imminently.
Driscoll announced earlier this week via Instagram that he had decided to end his season after a disappointing national championships.
Powers will represent the team in the elite men's race with Stephen Hyde (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), Allen Krughoff (Noosa) and Travis Livermon. Also in the team is Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), who returned to racing after a back injury last weekend and came seventh in the national championship.
There are two more open spots in the US team, but the replacement riders have not yet been announced by USA Cycling.
The British have but one rider in the top 50, Ian Field. He will be joined in the elite men's race by new national champion, former mountain biker Liam Kileen. "It’ll be great to see Liam Killeen riding in Great Britain colours again following his retirement from the mountain bike squad in 2013," said GB head coach Iain Dyer. David Fletcher and Jack Clarkson round out the team.
The Swiss team will be without Marcel Wildhaber, who broke his leg in a race in Meilen earlier this month. They will be led by Julian Taramarcaz, who lost out in the Swiss national championships to Lars Forster last weekend. Forster will be in the team along with Simon Zahner, Lukas Winterberg and Severin Sägesser.
For the elite women, Katie Compton (Trek) heads into the Worlds in full health, with a strong performance in Asheville behind her. Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), Crystal Anthony (Boulder Cycle Sport-YogaGlo) her teammate Amanda Miller, and Meredith Miller (Noosa) earned automatic bids, while Elle Anderson (SRAM-Strava) earned the coach's selection.
They will face a strong pair of British riders, with Nikki Harris and Helen Wyman among the top favourites for Zolder. Harris got the better of Wyman to win the national championship this weekend, and is on strong form after a win in Namur in December.
USA Elite Men: James Driscoll (Raleigh Clement), Stephen Hyde (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld), Allen Krughoff (Noosa Pro Cyclocross), Travis Livermon (Page Fuji), Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing), Ryan Trebon (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld)
USA Elite Women: Elle Anderson (SRAM Strava), Crystal Anthony (Boulder Cycle Sport-YogaGlo), Kaitie Antonneau (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld), Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing), Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport-YogaGlo), Meredith Miller (Noosa Pro Cyclocross)
USA U23 Men: Andrew Dillman (Cyclocross Network Racing), Grant Ellwood (Boulder Cycle Sport-YogaGlo), Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant Cycling), Logan Owen (Cal Giant-Specialized), Scott Smith (JAM Fund / NCC Vittoria), Curtis White (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld)
USA U23 Women: Allison Arensman (TWENTY16 Pro Cycling), Hanna Arensman (TWENTY16 Pro Cycling), Ellen Noble (JAM Fund-NCC-Vittoria), Emma Swartz (Trek Cyclocross Collective), Sofia Gomez Villafane (Summit -Competitive Cyclist), Emma White (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld Devo)
USA Junior Men: Cameron Beard (Cyclocrossworld), Eric Brunner (Boulder Junior Cycling), Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Co.-Vista Subaru), Michael Owens (Cyclocrossworld.com), Spencer Petrov (Cyclocross Network Racing p/b Medical Remarketing), Denzel Stephenson ( Boulder Junior Cycling)
GB Elite Men: Jack Clarkson, David Fletcher, Ian Field, Liam Killeen
GB Elite Women: Nikki Harris, Helen Wyman
GB U23 Men: Nick Barnes
GB U23 Women: Alice Barnes, Beth Crumpton, Ffion James, Amira Mellor, Hannah Payton, Evie Richards
Junior Men: Mark Donovan, Will Gascoigne, Tom Pidcock, Daniel Tulett, Ben Turner
Swiss Elite Men: Lars Forster, (BMC MTB Racing Team), Severin Sägesser (RC Gränichen), Julien Taramarcaz (Era-Murprotec), Lukas Winterberg (VC Pfaffnau-Roggliswil), Simon Zahner (EKZ Racing Team)
Swiss Elite Women: Lise Marie Henzelin (VCCMM Morteu)
Swiss U23 Men: Johan Jacobs (Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team), Timon Ruegg (VC Steinmaur)
Swiss U23 Women: Sina Frei (jb Felt Team)
Swiss Junior Men: Loïs Dufaux (Team Roth), Kuhn Kevin (Tower Sports VC Eschenbach), Mauro Schmid (VC Steinmaur)