USA Cycling states key riders asked not to be considered for Olympic team
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

USA Cycling states key riders asked not to be considered for Olympic team

by Shane Stokes at 10:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
 
Lineup confirmed for Games, 21 riders announced across various disciplines

Levi LeipheimerOn Friday USA Cycling released the names of the riders who will represent the country in the upcoming Olympic Games, with all bar three of the 24 slots being filled at this point.

Five men have been nominated for the men’s Olympic road race, namely Tyler Farrar (Garmin Barracuda/Wentachee/Washington), Chris Horner (RadioShack, Bend, Oregon), Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team/Tacoma, Washington), US road racing champion Timmy Duggan (Liquigas/Boulder, Colorado) and Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team/Boulder, Colorado). The latter will also do the time trial.

While each are very strong riders and deserve their place, there were some notable omissions.

USA Cycling clarified some of these in a peculiarly-phrased press release issued Saturday. “USA Cycling has received numerous inquiries regarding the men's Olympic road team announced yesterday,” it stated. “Prior to the commencement of the Olympic team nomination process, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie individually requested that they not be considered for nomination.

“USA Cycling will not speculate on the reasoning behind their requests and will not have further comment on this topic; any questions related to their decision should be directed to the individual athletes.”

At least two of those riders had indicated earlier this year that they were hoping for consideration for the Games. The phrasing of the release led to speculation on Saturday about their absence.

Each of the four are amongst the most successful of the current batch of US riders. Zabriskie is a multiple national time trial champion, taking his seventh title last month. Leipheimer won the title in 1999 and will contend for a top GC place in the Tour de France, as will 2008 fourth-placed finisher Vande Velde. Hincapie has won four Tour de France stages and will be one of defending champion Cadel Evans’ right hand men in the Tour de France.

All four were previously part of the US Postal Service team.

Earlier this week USADA sent a charging letter to six individuals connected to that team or its successors. They were former team-leader and co-owner Lance Armstrong, former team manager Johan Bruyneel, doctors Michele Ferrari (Italy), Pedro Celaya (Luxembourg) and Luis Garcia del Moral (Spain) plus the Spanish trainer Pepe Marti, and each have been accused of being involved in what is being termed a massive doping conspiracy between 1998 and 2011.

The letter states that there are more then ten cyclists amongst the witnesses. None have been named at this point in time.

Amongst the other riders confirmed by USA Cycling for the Games a strong womens’ road squad. The selections are Flèche Wallonne winner Evelyn Stevens (Specialized – lululemon/Acton, Mass.), Tour of Chongming Island World Cup victor Shelley Olds (AA Drink-Leontien.nl/ Gilroy, Calif.), plus 2008 gold medallist Kristin Armstrong (Exergy TWENTY12/ Boise, Idaho) and Amber Neben (Specialized-lululemon/ Irvine, Calif.). The latter two will also ride the women’s time trial.

Non-road selections:

The USA Cycling team will also include a number of competitors from different event. They include multiple world champion Sarah Hammer (OUCH Pro Cycling/ Temecula, Calif.), who will contest both the women’s omnium and team pursuit in London. She will be joined in the latter event by Dotsie Bausch (OUCH Pro Cycling/Irvine, Calif.), Jennie Reed (OUCH Pro Cycling/Seattle, Wash.) and Lauren Tamayo (Exergy Twenty12/Asheville, N.C./).

The men’s team features two track riders, namely omnium competitor Bobby Lea (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA/Topton, Pa.) and male sprint rider Jimmy Watkins (Project London 2012/Bakersfield, Calif.).

Five riders will compete in BMX, with two confirmed at this point in time. They are David Herman (Free Agent-Rockstar /Wheat Ridge, Colo.) and Arielle Martin (Intense BMX/Spanaway, Wash.). The remaining three will joined by three others, including the winner of the U.S. Olympic Trials for BMX on June 16.

The remainder of the team is completed by the mountain bike riders Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team/Fort Collins, Colo.), Lea Davison (Specialized Racing/Jericho, Vt.), Samuel Schultz (Subaru-Trek/Missoula, Mont.) and Todd Wells (Specialized Racing/Durango, Colo.) both received discretionary nods and will make up the two-person men’s squad.

USA Cycling V.P. of Athletics Jim Miller said he has high expectations. “We have a strong team going to London with a solid combination of experience, leadership and young talented athletes who are all capable of standout performances,” he said. “Each member of the team is deserving, we’re proud to welcome them as a part of Team USA and look forward to a promising Olympic Games.”
 

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