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USA Cycling names Olympic "Long Team"

USA Cycling named 35 athletes as potential mountain bike, road and track Olympians. The federation selected eligible athletes per its nomination process for the men's and women's mountain bike and women's road cycling disciplines as well as picking a "Talent Pool" of track athletes from which this summer's Olympic Team will named.

The five automatic selections for the women's long road team were 2007 UCI Road World Championship silver medallist Kristin Armstrong, Amber Neben, Tina Mayolo-Pic, Mara Abbott and Christine Thorburn ranked ninth, 18th, 34th, 29th and 62nd respectively in the UCI Road Rankings.

Kori Seehafer and Alison Powers were also added as discretionary picks. Seehafer showed strong mid-season form with career best performances at La Route de France Feminine in which she won a stage, wore the leader's jersey for three days and finished 18th overall. Powers finished last season ranked 103rd after winning gold in the time trial at the Pan American Championships, finishing third at the Memorial Davide Fardelli Time Trial in Italy and a seventh overall at Le Grand Tour du Montreal.

The five top-ranked male mountain bikers made the cut based on their UCI rankings including Adam Craig (16th), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (28th), Todd Wells (32nd), Jeremiah Bishop (37th) and Michael Broderick (59th). Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont.) received the only discretionary nomination.

On the women's side, the four automatic nominations were Georgia Gould (ranked sixth) and Mary McConneloug (seventh), Willow Koerber (11th) and Heather Irmiger (26th) with Sue Haywood as the sole discretionary nomination She finished the year ranked 47th in the world as the next-best American.

Following the third round of the 2007-08 UCI Track World Cup Classics circuit in Los Angeles last weekend, the final Talent Pool roster was picked.

The women's endurance squad consists of two-time individual pursuit world champion Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch, Lauren Franges, Christen King, Becky Quinn, and Kristin Armstrong as well as two sprinters Jennie Reed and Liz Reap.

Male sprinters named were Michael Blatchford, Adam Duvendeck, Andy Lakatosh and Giddeon Massie while selected endurance riders were Michael Friedman, Brad Huff, Bobby Lea, Colby Pearce and Taylor Phinney.

The men's Olympic road team selection process does not including the naming of a Long Team. Instead, riders will be picked based on results at major international events throughout the 2007 and 2008 season. To date, Levi Leipheimer is the only automatically qualified man based on his third-place overall finish at the 2007 Tour de France.

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