USA Cycling announced mountain biking athletes who are eligible to be nominated to represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games. Three of these mountain bikers live or train regularly in Tucson: Chloe Woodruff, Krista Park, and Todd Wells.
Chloe Woodruff, recent UA graduate and Tucson resident is a discretionary nominee to the long team. She raced for BMC Development Team in 2011, and will race for Crank Brothers in 2012. Woodruff recently won the SMA Smackdown on Kino cyclo-cross race, part of the Arizona Cross series.
Krista Park, a native of Georgia, trains in Tucson during the winter and raced in every World Cup last year. In 2011, Park rode for Cannondale-No Tubes. Last week, she was the first woman to finish the The McDowell 60 epic mountain bike race near Phoenix.
Leading the women’s long team is Lea Davison (Jericho, VT/Specialized) who locked up her automatic nomination with top ten finishes at the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. Other automatic bids went to 2008 mountain bike Olympian Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, CO/Luna), Heather Irmiger (Boulder, CO/Subaru-Trek), Mountain bike Olympian in 2004 and 2008, Mary McConneloug (Fairfax, CA/ Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) and Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, CO/Rabobank). Judy Freeman (Brighton, CO/Kenda-Felt) and Willow Rockwell (Durango, CO/Trek World Racing) were also discretionary nominees to the women’s mountain bike Long Team.
Of the eight men named to the men’s mountain bike squad, five received automatic nominations. 2008 mountain bike Olympian Todd Wells(Durango, CO/ Specialized) finished inside the top 10 at the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships and finished 10th in 2011 UCI World Cup #1 to secure his automatic nomination. Wells owns a house close to the great mountain bike trails of Starr Pass, just west of Tucson, and he regularly trains on nearby desert and mountain trails each winter.
Other men who finished inside the top 60 of the UCI individual world rankings, and earned automatic nominations to the Long Team are: Sam Schultz (Missoula, MT/Subaru-Trek), 2004 mountain bike Olympian Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, CO/Subaru-Trek), Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, VA/Cannondale), and 2008 mountain bike Olympian Adam Craig (Bend, OR/Rabobank-Giant).
The maximum that any nation can qualify is three men and two women; USA Cycling anticipates that two women and two men will represent the United States.
“USA Cycling would like to congratulate the athletes who have earned nominations to the 2012 Olympic Long Team in these disciplines,” said USA Cycling’s Vice President of Athletics Jim Miller. “The hard work and determination of these athletes has helped USA Cycling advance its vision of making the U.S. the most successful country in the world of competitive cycling.”
He continues, “They are evidence of the United States’ ability to be a legitimate medal contender across all four disciplines of competitive cycling in London. The athletes on this list have either proven their capabilities to win medals in major international events or illustrated the potential to do so in the future.”