USA Cycling announces Olympic Games road team selections

USA Cycling today announced the nine members of the road squad which will contest the Olympic Games in London this summer, featuring five men and four women.

On the men’s side, all five nominations were discretionary picks as no men’s road athletes met the automatic criteria.

A Tour de France stage winner and one of the world’s fastest finishers, Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) will make his Olympic debut in the London road race after finishing 10th at last year’s world championships.

Following a win at the 2011 Tour of California and second place results at this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico and the Vuelta al País Vasco, Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan) will bring experience to the American squad who will be looking for strong leadership in an event which restricts the use of race radios.

At 24 years of age, Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) has accrued top five overall results at Paris-Nice, the Criterium du Dauphine, the Amgen Tour of California and the USA Pro Challenge and, along with current USA Cycling Professional Road National Champion Timothy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale), will also join the team as a discretionary nominee.

Farrar, Horner, Van Garderen and Duggan will be joined by Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) who, in addition to contesting the mass start road race, will also compete in the time trial. The youngest member of the men’s road race squad, Phinney will return for his second Olympic Games after finishing seventh in the individual pursuit on the track in 2008. Phinney proved his form this spring by wearing the pink race leader’s jersey in the Giro d’Italia and finishing in the top 15 at Paris-Roubaix.

Since no men’s road race athletes met the automatic criteria to compete in the individual time trial, Phinney received a discretionary nomination to fill the United States’ sole start position in the race against the clock. A former junior time trial world champion and one of the United States’ most talented up-and-coming time trialists, Phinney earned the prologue win against the world’s best in this season’s first Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia.

With the maximum number of start spots raised from three to four for the women’s road race, four women will represent the United States in the Olympic road race for the first time ever. After winning the UCI Women’s World Cup #4, La Flèche Wallonne, and remaining inside the top 10 in the World cup standings, Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) earned an automatic nomination to the women’s road race squad. Shelley Olds (AA Drink - Cycling Team) helped secure her nomination after riding to victory at the Tour of Chongming Island World Cup #5 in China.

Kristin Armstrong (Exergy TWENTY12) and Amber Neben (Specialized-lululemon) will join Stevens and Olds for the road race and will also contest the time trial as discretionary picks. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Armstrong proved to be one of the most dominant time trialists in the world in 2012, winning all eight international-caliber time trials she entered. Neben has also posted consistent top-level time trial results this season, including a gold medal at the Pan American Continental Championships.

Men's road cycling:
Timmy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale)
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda)
Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan)
Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) – road race & time trial
Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing)

Women's road cycling:
Kristin Armstrong (Exergy TWENTY 12) – road race & time trial
Amber Neben (Specialized-lululemon) – road race & time trial
Shelley Olds (AA Drink - Cycling Team)
Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon)

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