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Stephens, Rosskopf head USA Cycling's team for UCI Road World Championships

Joey Rosskopf (Rally Cycling) at the elite men's road race at the USA Cycling Pro Road Championships 2021
Joey Rosskopf (Rally Cycling) at the elite men's road race at the USA Cycling Pro Road Championships 2021 (Image credit: Patrick Daly)

USA Cycling announced its team for the UCI Road World Championships, naming reigning national champions Lauren Stephens and Joey Rosskopf to the women's and men's elite road race squads, part of a 26-rider group that will head to Flanders for the road race and time trial events between September 19-26.

Olympians Lawson Craddock, Brandon McNulty, Amber Neben and Leah Thomas will contest the time trials. Chloe Dygert declined her automatic nomination, ending her season due to lingering pain from her serious leg laceration from her crash in last year's Worlds.

Neben, who suffered a fractured pelvis in a collision with a car after a driver pulled out in front of her while she was training on August 22, turned down her automatic nomination for the road race but still plans to compete in the time trial, despite her setback.

"I am healing fast, but I have a long way to go to return to form for the World Championship Time Trial on Sep 20," Neben wrote on Instagram. "The question is do I have enough time? I know it is a long shot to make it back, but the door is open."

For the road race, Lauren Stephens (TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank) is joined by teammate Kristin Faulkner, former national champions Coryn Rivera (DSM), Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo), Tayler Wiles (Trek-Segafredo), and Thomas (Movistar).

Six elite men will start the road race, with Rosskopf (Rally Cycling) joined by Craddock and Neilson Powless (EF Education-Nippo), Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar), McNulty (UAE Team Emirates),  and Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo).

Tour de France stage winner Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) turned down his spot, according to Jim Miller, USA Cycling's Chief of Sports Performance.

Olivia Cummins, Makayla MacPherson, Kaia Schmid, Cole Kessler, Alex Gustin and Colby Simmons (all LUX/Sideshow p/b Specialized) and Artem Shmidt (Mission Devo Cycling p/b Tyler Perry Studios) and Chloe Patrick will represent the country in the junior races, while Magnus Sheffield (Rally Cycling), Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM), Sean Quinn and Matthew Riccitello (Hagens Berman Axeon) and Luke Lamperti (Trinity Racing) will compete in the U23 road race, with Sheffield and Riccitello in the time trial.

"After a difficult year of racing, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we're excited to put forth a team that has had strong results recently. After the success we saw in 2019 with our development riders, we're excited to see our riders take on the U23 and Junior World Championships after a two-year break for those races," Miller said.

USA Cycling for the UCI Road World Championships:

Elite Men Time Trial (September 19): Lawson Craddock (EF Education-Nippo), Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates)

Elite Women Time Trial (September 20): Amber Neben (Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling), Leah Thomas (Movistar Team Women)

U23 Men Time Trial (September 20): Matthew Riccitello (Hagens Berman Axeon), Magnus Sheffield (Rally Cycling)

Junior Women Time Trial (September 21): Olivia Cummins and Makayla MacPherson (LUX/Sideshow p/b Specialized)

Junior Men Time Trial (September 21): Alex Gustin and Cole Kessler (LUX/Sideshow p/b Specialized)

Junior Men Road Race (September 24): Alex Gustin, Cole Kessler, Colby Simmons (LUX/Sideshow p/b Specialized) and Artem Shmidt (Mission Devo Cycling p/b Tyler Perry Studios)

U23 Men Road Race (September 24): Luke Lamperti (Trinity Racing), Sean Quinn and Matthew Riccitello (Hagens Berman Axeon), Magnus Sheffield (Rally Cycling), Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM)

Junior Women Road Race (September 25): Olivia Cummins, Makayla MacPherson, Kaia Schmid (LUX/Sideshow p/b Specialized), Chloe Patrick

Elite Women Road Race (September 25): Kristen Faulkner (Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank), Coryn Rivera (Team DSM), Lauren Stephens (Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank), Leah Thomas (Movistar Team Women), Taylor Wiles and Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo).

Elite Men Road Race (September 26): Lawson Craddock and Neilson Powless (EF Education-Nippo), Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team), Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates), Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) and Joey Rosskopf (Rally Cycling)