USA chooses 33 for 'long teams' eligible for Beijing Games
For Kristin Armstrong and 33 other American cyclists, the first step toward qualifying for the Beijing Olympics is officially complete.
Armstrong, the 2006 women's road time trial champion, was among those riders selected by USA Cycling late Tuesday night to the so-called "long teams" -- pools of those eligible to compete in this summer's Olympics.
"Their collective accomplishments are indicative of the United States' ability to be a legitimate medal contender across all four disciplines of competitive cycling in Beijing," said Pat McDonough, USA Cycling's director of athletics. "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."
Others on the list who were part of the 2004 Olympic team include Levi Leipheimer (men's road), Christine Thorburn (women's road), Jennie Reed (women's track), Mary McConneloug (women's mountain bike), Adam Duvendeck (men's track), Colby Pearce (men's track), Giddeon Massie (men's track), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (men's mountain bike) and Todd Wells (men's mountain bike).
Armstrong also made the long-team list for the track Olympic program, after taking part in the women's team pursuit event in a World Cup race at Carson, Calif., last weekend. The U.S. team in that race won a bronze medal.
Two-time defending world track pursuit champion Sarah Hammer also is on the women's long team, which was only a ceremonial nomination. Barring something stunning before this summer, Hammer will be among gold-medal favorites in her event this August.
Taylor Phinney, the son of U.S. road cycling legend Davis Phinney and 1984 Olympic gold medalist Connie Carpenter-Phinney, was among those selected to the men's track long team. Phinney -- who is still just 17 yet already a national men's elite champion on the track -- won a gold medal in the individual pursuit at last weekend's World Cup, cementing his standing as a major contender for Beijing.
"This win gives me a lot of confidence if I qualify for the games," Phinney said.
There were no long teams selected in men's road (Leipheimer was an automatic qualifier) or in BMX, which is in the Olympic program for the first time. The BMX long teams will be announced in late May, and the Olympic team should be finalized by late June.
The complete long teams:
Women's Road: Mara Abbott, Boulder, Colo.; Kristin Armstrong, Boise, Idaho; Amber Neben, Irvine, Calif.; Tina Mayolo-Pic, Buford, Ga.; Alison Powers, Boulder, Colo.; Kori Seehafer, Louisville, Colo.; Christine Thorburn, Sunnyvale, Calif.
Men's Mountain Bike: Jeremiah Bishop, Harrisonburg, Va.; Michael Broderick, Chilmark, Mass.; Adam Craig, Bend, Ore.; Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Boulder, Colo.; Todd Wells, Durango, Colo.; Sam Schultz, Missoula, Mont.
Women's Mountain Bike: Georgia Gould, Fort Collins, Colo.; Heather Irmiger, Boulder, Colo.; Willow Koerber, Asheville, N.C.; Mary McConneloug, Fairfax, Calif.; Sue Haywood, Davis, W. Va.
Men's Track: Michael Blatchford, Cypress, Calif.; Adam Duvendeck, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Michael Friedman, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Brad Huff, Fair Grove, Mo.; Andy Lakatosh, Trexlertown, Pa.; Bobby Lea, Mertztown, Pa.; Giddeon Massie, Zionhill, Pa.; Colby Pearce, Boulder, Colo.; Taylor Phinney, Boulder, Colo.
Women's Track: Kristin Armstrong, Boise, Idaho; Dotsie Bausch, Irvine, Calif.; Lauren Franges, Asheville, N.C.; Sarah Hammer, Temecula, Calif.; Christen King, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Becky Quinn, Quakertown, Pa.; Liz Reap, Jim Thorpe, Pa.; Jennie Reed, Kirkland, Wash.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press