US team in Mexico for Pan American Games

Second only to the Olympic Games in stature, the Pan American Games are set to open in Guadalajara, Mexico just days after a category 2 hurrican slammed into the region, killing six in the country. But the skies are clearing and the Games are set to go forward with the first cycling events coming on Saturday, with the mountain bike competitions on Saturday, followed by the road time trials on Sunday.

USA Cycling has sent a 16-rider team to the Games, which also include track events from October 17-20 and road races on October 22.

Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing), Stephen Ettinger (BMC MTB Development Team) and Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) will take to the cross country course on Saturday, but there is no word what condition the trails are in following days of heavy rain.

Road race national champion Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis) and Alison Tetrick Starnes (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY 12) will represent the USA in the time trial on Sunday, but only Farina will stay for the road race next weekend. No men were entered in the road events for the Games, which will help to qualify positions for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Qualificiation points are an important goal for USA Cycling's track squad. They will be represented by Cari Higgins (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY 12) in the women’s omnium as the sole endurance team representative.

Dean Tracy, Michael Blatchford and Jimmy Watkins will compete in the men's team sprint. Blatchford and Watkins will also contest the individual sprint. Liz Carlson and Madalyn Godby will race the team sprint on the women’s side and Dana Feiss will compete in the individual sprint and keirin.

The Canadian Cycling Association announced this week that David Veilleux will not compete in the men's road events due to fatigue, nor will Tory Nyhaug. Track riders Stephanie Roorda and Jacob Schwingboth will compete in the omnium.

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