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

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.