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Phinney to defend world pursuit title in Copenhagen

Taylor Phinney (USA) won the men's individual pursuit final at the 2009 track world championships.

Taylor Phinney (USA) won the men's individual pursuit final at the 2009 track world championships. (Image credit: AFP)

Defending individual pursuit champion Taylor Phinney will head the eight-person US National Team for the upcoming UCI Track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 24-28.

The 19-year-old Phinney earned an automatic nomination by virtue of his status as defending champion. Last year, the young rider became the first American male to win an elite track world championship title in 13 years. In addition to defending his pursuit title, he will also contest the omnium event in Copenhagen.

Discretionary nominees Daniel Holloway, Colby Pearce (Big Shark Bicycle Company) and Giddeon Massie (Bike Religion) round out the men's team. Holloway will contest the scratch race and then team up with Pearce for the Madison. Massie will compete in the sprint and kilometer time trial.

Sarah Hammer received the only automatic nomination to the women's squad by clocking a 3:27 to win the individual pursuit at the World Cup in Cali, Columbia, earlier this season. The two-time World Champion will compete for a third rainbow jersey in the individual pursuit and will also contest the omnium event.

The other women representing the US - both discretionary nominees, will be Lauren Tamayo (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty 12) and Dotsie Bausch (ATF-Empower Coaching Systems) will join Hammer for the team pursuit event.

Finally, Shelley Evans (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty 12), who is fresh off the overall win at the Women's Tour of New Zealand, will compete in the points race and scratch race in Copenhagen.

With only 20 days to go before the hunt for medals, the newly sanded velodrome is undergoing final preparations to host the world's best track racers.

Copenhagen is the only city in the world appointed as a "Bike City" by the UCI. Between 2008 and 2011, Copenhagen is hosting six major international cycling events.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.