USA Cycling announced 21 of its 24 nominees to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, including 10 male and 11 female athletes across the disciplines of road cycling, track, mountain biking and bicycle motocross (BMX).
Six of these were automatic nominees and 15 were nominated to the Olympic Team via discretionary selection. All of USA Cycling’s discretionary nominations are made by a highly qualified, independent committee, facilitated by key USA Cycling staff, using the posted principles of discretionary selection which are centered on an athlete’s capability to medal or otherwise enhance team performance and create a medal capable environment.
In the discipline of road cycling a total of five men and four women were nominated to the Olympic Team, the maximum number allowed to qualify per nation.
On the men’s side, all five nominations were discretionary picks as no men’s road athletes met the automatic criteria. A Tour de France stage winner and one of the world’s fastest finishers, Tyler Farrar (Wentachee, Wash./Garmin-Barracuda) will make his Olympic debut in the London road race after finishing 10th at last year’s world championships. Following a win at the 2011 Tour of California and second place results at this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico and the Vuelta al País Vasco, Chris Horner (Bend, Ore./RadioShack-Nissan-Trek) will bring experience to the American squad who will be looking for strong leadership in an event which restricts the use of race radios.
At 24 years of age, Tejay Van Garderen (Tacoma, Wash./BMC Racing) has accrued top five overall results at Paris-Nice, the Criterium du Dauphine, the Amgen Tour of California and the USA Pro Challenge and, along with current USA Cycling Professional Road National Champion Timothy Duggan (Boulder, Colo./Liquigas-Cannondale), will also join the team as a discretionary nominee.
Farrar, Horner, Van Garderen and Duggan will be joined by Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo./BMC Racing) who, in addition to contesting the mass start road race, will also compete in the time trial. The youngest member of the men’s road race squad, Phinney will return for his second Olympic Games after finishing seventh in the individual pursuit on the track in 2008. Phinney proved his form this spring by wearing the pink race leader’s jersey in the Giro d’Italia and finishing in the top 15 at Paris-Roubaix.
Since no men’s road race athletes met the automatic criteria to compete in the individual time trial, Phinney received a discretionary nomination to fill the United States’ sole start position in the race against the clock. A former junior time trial world champion and one of the United States’ most talented up-and-coming time trialists, Phinney earned the prologue win against the world’s best in this season’s first grand tour, the Giro d’Italia.
With the maximum number of start spots raised from three to four for the women’s road race, four women will represent the United States in the Olympic road race for the first time ever. After winning the UCI Women’s World Cup #4, La Flèche Wallonne, and remaining inside the top 10 in the world cup standings, Evelyn Stevens (Acton, Mass./Specialized-Lulemon) earned an automatic nomination to the women’s road race squad. Shelley Olds (Gilroy, Calif./AA Drink-Leontien) helped secure her nomination after riding to victory at the Tour of Chongming Island World Cup #5 in China.
Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho/Exergy TWENTY12) and Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif./Specialized-Lulemon) will join Stevens and Olds for the road race and will also contest the time trial as discretionary picks. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Armstrong proved to be one of the most dominant time trialists in the world in 2012, winning all eight international-caliber time trials she entered. Neben has also posted consistent top-level time trial results this season, including a gold medal at the Pan American Continental Championships.
In the discipline of track cycling, a total of two men and four women were nominated to the Olympic Team.
Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) was the only track cycling athlete to receive an automatic nomination. She did so by virtue of her omnium bronze medal at the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships and will contest both the women’s omnium and team pursuit in London. Hammer will join forces with Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling), Jennie Reed (Seattle, Wash./OUCH Pro Cycling) and Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./Exergy Twenty12) in the women’s team pursuit. Various combinations of the foursome have celebrated a string of successes in international competition, including a previous world record set in May of 2010 by Bausch, Hammer and Tamayo and a world championship silver medal in 2011 from Bausch, Hammer and Reed.
Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) received the discretionary nod for the men’s omnium spot and Jimmy Watkins (Bakersfield, Calif./Project London 2012) earned the remaining nomination for the men’s sprint.
Of the six track athletes nominated, Reed will be making her third appearance at the Games, while Hammer and Lea return for their second appearances. Reed, who contested the sprint in 2004 and the keirin in 2008, made a switch to endurance riding to contest the four-kilometer team pursuit.
As the discipline of BMX racing returns to the Olympic Games after its debut in 2008, the U.S. will field the maximum five-person squad which consists of three men and two women.
Automatic qualifiers include David Herman (Wheat Ridge, Colo./Free Agent-Rockstar) on the men’s side and Arielle Martin (Spanaway, Wash./Intense BMX) for the women. Herman and Martin earned automatic nominations as the top-ranked athletes in USA Cycling’s BMX Power Rankings.
Herman will be joined by the winner of the U.S. Olympic Trials for BMX on June 16 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., as well as a discretionary nominee who will also be named and announced on the 16th. Martin will be joined by a single discretionary nominee on the women’s squad.
For the discipline of mountain bike, Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo. /Luna Pro Team) earned the only automatic nomination and will be joined on the women’s squad by Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt. /Specialized Racing). Samuel Schultz (Missoula, Mont. /Subaru-Trek) and Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing) both received discretionary nods and will make up the two-person men’s squad.
Gould automatically qualified by ranking inside the top 10 in the individual UCI World Cup rankings, in eighth, as of May 31, 2012. As the discretionary selection, Davison has finished inside the top 10 at three world cup or world championship events in the last 24 months.
After finishing in seventh place at the 2011 world championships and earning four top 20 world cup and world championship results within the past 12 months, the soon to be three-time Olympian Wells will fill the men’s mountain bike squad, along with Schultz who boasts the top American world cup average finish in 2012.
“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,” said USA Cycling V.P. of Athletics Jim Miller. “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.”
All nominations are subject to approval by the USOC board of directors. More information on cycling in the Olympic Games, including complete selection procedures and athlete bios can be found at usacycling.org/olympics.
2012 Olympic Games
July 28 – Aug. 12
USA Cycling Nominees:
MEN’S ROAD CYCLING
Timmy Duggan (Boulder, Colo./Liquigas-Cannondale)
Tyler Farrar (Wentachee, Wash./Garmin-Barracuda)
Chris Horner (Bend, Ore./RadioShack-Nissan-Trek)
Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo./BMC Racing) – road race & time trial
Tejay Van Garderen (Tacoma, Wash./BMC Racing)
WOMEN’S ROAD CYCLING
Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho/Exergy TWENTY 12) – road race & time trial
Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif./Specialized-Lulemon) – road race & time trial
Shelley Olds (Gilroy, Calif./AA Drink)
*Evelyn Stevens (Acton, Mass./Specialized-Lulemon)
Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) – women’s team pursuit
*Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) – women’s omnium & team pursuit
Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) – men’s omnium
Jennie Reed (Seattle, Wash./OUCH Pro Cycling) – women’s team pursuit
Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./Exergy Twenty12) – women’s team pursuit
Jimmy Watkins (Bakersfield, Calif./Project London 2012) – men’s sprint
* David Herman (Wheat Ridge, Colo./Free Agent-Rockstar)
Spot #2 Olympic Trials winner
Spot #3 discretionary nomination following Olympic Trials
* Arielle Martin (Spanaway Wash./Intense BMX)
Spot #2 discretionary nomination following Olympic Trials
MEN’S MOUNTAIN BIKE
Samuel Schultz (Missoula, Mont. /Subaru-Trek)
Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing)
WOMEN’S MOUNTAIN BIKE
Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt. /Specialized Racing)
*Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo. /Luna Pro Team) auto
*denotes automatic nominees