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USA Cycling announces Olympic team

George Hincapie (High Road)

George Hincapie (High Road) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

Most of the spots on the USA Olympic Games team for Beijing, China were announced Tuesday by USA Cycling, including the entire men's road race team. George Hincapie (Team Columbia) will make his fifth Olympic start, the only American cyclist to do so. Joining him in the road race will be Levi Leipheimer (Astana), Jason McCartney (CSC) as well as Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie of Garmin-Chipotle.

Leipheimer, an Olympian at Athens, Greece in 2004, was the only automatic qualifier for the team due to his third place at the 2007 Tour de France. A USA Cycling statement said the other four picks were "discretionary nominations based on an athlete's capability to medal or otherwise enhance team performance and create a medal capable environment". No rider made the time trial standard so Leipheimer and Zabriskie were discretionary nominations for that discipline, with many strong results from each in recent years. This will be Zabriskie's first Olympics.

In the women's road race Kristen Armstrong (Lifeforce-Cervelo) was the only automatic qualifier in both the road race and time trial, thanks to her silver medal in the time trial at the 2007 UCI World Championships. Armstrong competed in the road race in Athens in 2004. Two more spots for the women are yet to be determined and will be discretionary nominations.

On the track, after the automatic qualifiers were determined at a track selection camp in June, three more names were added to the roster to round out the team. Adam Duvendeck and Giddeon Massie received discretionary nominations for the remaining two men's team sprint positions, while Michael Friedman earned a discretionary nomination for the Madison.

They will join automatic qualifiers Michael Blatchford, Bobby Lea and Taylor Phinney to the men's squad and Sarah Hammer and Jennie Reed to the women's team.

A few open spots exist for the track team still, the one spot for both the men's Keirin and women's points race spots will be announced at a later date. The innaugural BMX Olympic team was mostly decided at the trials race held in San Diego last June.

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