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USA Cycling Names Men's Olympic MTB Squad
Fri Jul 16, 2004
Source: MB Action

USA Cycling announced today the two-member men's mountain bike squad that will compete at this summer's Olympic Games. After a close, season-long competition to fulfill the selection criteria, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.) and Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.) have been formally nominated to the U.S. Olympic mountain bike team.

Four-time U.S. National Champion Horgan-Kobelski earned his nomination as the highest-ranked rider in the UCI standings, ranked tenth in the world. His consistency throughout this season also ranks him as the top American in the UCI World Cup standings through six events. A first time Olympian, Horgan-Kobelski solidified his position as a frontrunner for one of the two men's mountain bike positions early in the 2004 season with a convincing win amongst a field of several Olympic hopefuls at the Pan American Championships in April. The following month, Horgan-Kobelski rode to a win in round two of the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series in Sonoma, Calif. and followed up his domestic performances with a solid World Cup campaign.

Wells, also a first time Olympian, confirmed his position on the Olympic team with a critical performance at the World Cup event in Calgary on July 3. His tenth place finish earned him enough World Cup points to advance him into the top-25 overall, making him eligible for Olympic selection based on World Cup standings. Wells is currently ranked 21st in the seven-race World Cup series. The 2002 U.S. National Short Track Champion and familiar face on the NORBA National Series podium brings further international experience to the U.S. squad.

"The addition of these two athletes complement the deep, talented and diverse combination of world-class competitors already named to the Olympic cycling team," noted USA Cycling CEO, Gerard Bisceglia. "The talented and dedicated individuals we've nominated give us the most favorable chance at success exemplified by their results and consistency when it mattered most. It was an admirable achievement to simply qualify for the team given the competition for the two spots, so we already know the riders that will represent the U.S. are eager to do so with the highest level of focus and determination."

The formal nomination of the athlete that will fill the lone women's mountain bike slot has not yet been decided. An intense year-long competition between Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.) and Mary McConnleoug (Fairfax, Calif.) officially ended last Sunday with the completion of the last UCI-sanctioned cross country race prior to the cutoff date according to USA Cycling's selection procedures. However, given the extremely close nature of the competition that will be decided by UCI ranking as of July 12, 2004, officials are verifying the accuracy of points distributed throughout the year.

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