USA Cycling announced today the list of 17 mountain bikers who are eligible to be nominated to represent the United States at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
As part of its Olympic Team nomination process, USA Cycling named a Long Team of eligible athletes in the disciplines of men's and women's cross country mountain bike . The Long Team will serve as a pool of riders from which the Olympic Team will be selected in mid-June of 2012. The mountain bike events at the Olympic Games will happen on August 11-12, 2012.
Men's Mountain Bike Long Team
Of the eight men named to the squad, five received automatic nominations. 2008 mountain bike Olympian Todd Wells (Specialized) finished inside the top 10, in seventh, at the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships and finished 10th in 2011 UCI World Cup round 1 to secure his automatic nomination.
Twenty-six year-old Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) is the youngest automatic nominee, after finishing third overall in USA Cycling's 2011 Pro Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT) standings.
2004 mountain bike Olympian Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek), Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) and 2008 mountain bike Olympian Adam Craig (Rabobank-Giant) all finished inside the top 60 of the UCI individual world rankings, therefore earning automatic nominations to the Long Team.
2011 US Cross Country national champion in the U23 division Stephen Ettinger (BMC), Spencer Paxson (Kona) and Michael Broderick (Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) all received discretionary nods.
Women's Mountain Bike Long Team
A similar model was used to select the women's mountain bike Long Team as five athletes earned automatic nominations.
With top 10 finishes at the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, UCI Mountain Bike World Cups rounds 6 and 7 and as the winner of USA Cycling Pro XCT in 2011 Lea Davison (Specialized) locked up her automatic nomination.
With a fifth-place finish at the 2011 UCI World Cup round 5 and second overall in the 2011 Pro XCT, 2008 mountain bike Olympian Georgia Gould (Luna) secured her spot.
The wife of Horgan-Kobelski, Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) earned the automatic nod after finishing the year ranked 24th internationally.
Mountain bike Olympian in 2004 and 2008 Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) and Katie Compton (Rabobank), who also excels in the cyclo-cross discipline, also earned automatic nominations via their top-50 international ranking.
Willow Rockwell (Trek World Racing), who won the bronze medal at the 2009 and 2010 World Championships is a discretionary nominee, along with Chloe Woodruff (BMC), Krista Park (Cannondale-No Tubes) and Judy Freeman (Kenda-Felt).
"USA Cycling would like to congratulate the athletes who have earned nominations to the 2012 Olympic Long Team in these disciplines," said USA Cycling's Vice President of Athletics Jim Miller. "The hard work and determination of these athletes has helped USA Cycling advance its vision of making the US the most successful country in the world of competitive cycling. They are evidence of the United States' ability to be a legitimate medal contender across all four disciplines of competitive cycling in London. The athletes on this list have either proven their capabilities to win medals in major international events or illustrated the potential to do so in the future."
2012 Olympic US Men's Mountain Bike Long Team
Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale)*
Michael Broderick (Kenda-Seven-NoTubes)
Adam Craig (Rabobank-Giant)*
Stephen Ettinger (BMC)
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek)*
Spencer Paxson (Kona)
Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek)*
Todd Wells (Specialized)*
2012 Olympic Women's Mountain Bike Long Team
Katie Compton (Rabobank)*
Lea Davison (Specialized)*
Judy Freeman (Kenda-Felt)
Georgia Gould (Luna) *
Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek)*
Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven-NoTubes)*
Krista Park (Cannondale-No Tubes)
Willow Rockwell (Trek World Racing)
Chloe Woodruff (BMC)