Posted by Editoress on 07/17/04
USA Cycling Names Final Rider to Athens Team
USA Cycling has announcedthe formal nomination of Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.) to the 2004 U.S. Olympic Mountain Bike Team.
Haywood's nomination comes after a dramatic year-long pursuit of UCI points resulted in her position as the top-ranked American in the world. Haywood prepares for Athens as one of the most successful American mountain bike athletes over the course of the last year. After staking claim to her second-ever U.S national short track title in 2003, Haywood was the top American finisher at September's UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, riding to a sixth place finish. Her successful 2003 season paved the way for a crucial 2004 crusade that culminated with a win at the Pan American Championships, the first head-to-head test against other U.S. Olympic hopefuls. Nine podium appearances and six top-20 World Cup performances this year alone provide Haywood with both the experience and talent necessary to make an impact in her first Olympic Games.
A well-documented chase for UCI points between Haywood and Mary McConneloug (Fairfax, Calif.) finally came to a close last Sunday. Following the final UCI-sanctioned cross country event on the calendar prior to Olympic selection, the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships, Haywood narrowly escaped with the Olympic nomination. Following the race, Haywood's ninth place finish and McConneloug's 24th place effort resulted in a one point differential between the two athletes who battled all year. McConneloug was credited with a total of 1488 UCI points and Haywood, whose total includes points from the July 2003 short track race at the NORBA National in Sandpoint, Idaho not reflected on the UCI calendar, had accrued 1489.
"Sue and Mary fought a valiant battle all year for this Olympic team nomination so it seems fitting that they would end up separated by only a single point," said Gerard Bisceglia, USA Cycling chief executive officer. "They both proved they are amongst the best women in the world and we know Sue will represent the United States extremely well in Athens."
The naming of the Olympic mountain bike team completes the cycling contingent headed to Athens.
2004 U.S. Olympic Cycling Team
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo.)
Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.)
Sue Haywood (Davis, W. Va.)
Tyler Hamilton (Marblehead, Mass.)
George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C.)
Bobby Julich (Glenwood Springs, Colo.)
Levi Leipheimer (Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Jason McCartney (Coralville, Iowa)
Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho)
Dede Barry (Boulder, Colo.)
Christine Thorburn (Davenport, Iowa)
Adam Duvendeck (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Giddeon Massie (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Marty Nothstein (Orefield, Pa.)
Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.)
Christian Stahl (Bethany, Conn.)
Erin Mirabella (Racine, Wis.)
Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.)
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