USA's 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championship Team 16

PRESS RELEASE

This just in, the USA World Champs team is going to rock. Gwinny and Kintner will lead out the charge and are backed by a solid crew of riders. Check out the full list in the press release, below...

Aaron Gwin on his way to the coveted USA National Championship Title. - Photo by Matthew DeLorme

Colorado Springs, Colo. (August 6, 2012) – USA Cycling is pleased to announce the 42 athletes that will represent the United States at the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Saalfelden-Leogang, Austria, Aug. 31 – Sept. 9.

GRAVITY

Leading the men’s downhill contingent will be reigning national champion and four-time world cup winner in 2012, Aaron Gwin (Temecula, Calif./Trek World Racing). He’ll be joined on the downhill squad by two other automatic qualifiers who earned their spots by virtue of their world cup rankings — Luke Strobel (Issaqua, Wash.) and Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah/Monster Energy/Specialized). Rounding out the men’s downhill group will be discretionary picks Eliot Jackson (Westlake Village, CA/), Neko Mulally (Reading, Pa./Trek World Racing), Logan Binggeli (Saint George, Utah/KHS), and Duncan Riffle (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dirt Norco Race Team)

Having won the dual slalom national championship title this year, Neko Mulally will also compete in the four-cross competition at worlds as an automatic selection. He’ll be joined in the four-by-four competition by discretionary pick Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif.) who placed second to Mulally at nationals.

In the women’s downhill competition, powerhouse riders Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./Team Norco International) and Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz./IXS-510 Smith Optics) earned automatic nominations to the U.S. team. Kintner was fourth in the first World Cup and is ranked 11th overall while Harmony is the reigning national champ and overall Pro GRT leader. The ladies will be joined by discretionary nominees, Jaime Rees (Spokane, WA/The Bike Hub) and Lauren Daney (Stafford, Va./DRD Intense), who were third and fourth respectively in this year’s national championships.

In the elite women’s four-cross, the lone competitor for the U.S will be Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.), who automatically qualified for her start spot by virtue of her dual slalom win at the 2012 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships.

USA Cycling will also send a junior men’s squad to Austria to contest the downhill competition. That squad will be led by automatic qualifiers Richard Rude Jr. (Redding, Conn./Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team), Kevin Littlefield (Auburn, Wash.), and Austin Hackett Klaube (Dillon, Colo.). They’ll be joined by discretionary picks Austin Warren (Alpine, Calif./DRD X-Fusion Intense), Alexander Willie (Longmont, CO/ Intense Cycles), and Cole Picchiattino (Murrieta, Calif.)

Elite Men Downhill

  • Aaron Gwin (Temecula, Calif./Trek World Racing).
  • Luke Strobel (Issaqua, Wash.)
  • Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah/Monster Energy/Specialized)
  • Eliot Jackson(Westlake Village, CA/)
  • Neko Mulally( Reading, Pa./Trek World Racing)
  • Logan Binggeli(Saint George, Utah/KHS)
  • Duncan Riffle( Santa Barbara, Calif./Dirt Norco Race Team)

Elite Women Downhill

  • Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./Team Norco International)
  • Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona , Ariz./IXS-510-Smith Optics)
  • Lauren Daney (Stafford, Va./DRD Intense)
  • Jaime Rees (Spokane, WA/The Bike Hub)

Elite Men Four-Cross

  • Neko Mulally (Reading, Pa./Trek World Racing)
  • Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif.)

Elite Women Four-Cross

  • Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.)

Junior Men Downhill

  • Richard Rude Jr. (Redding, Conn./Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team)
  • Kevin Littlefield (Auburn, Wash.)
  • Austin Hackett Klaube (Dillon, Colo.)
  • Austin Warren (Alpine, Calif./DRD X-Fusion Intense)
  • Alexander Willie (Longmont, Colo./ Intense Cycles)
  • Cole Picchiattino (Murrieta, Calif.)

CROSS-COUNTRY

After representing the United States at the Olympic Games in London, Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing) and Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Trek) will lead the elite men’s cross country squad in Austria. The two are automatic qualifiers by way of their Olympic team nominations. They’ll be joined by another automatic nominee, Colin Cares (Boulder, Colo./Kenda-Felt) who is first in the overall Pro XCT rankings. Also toeing the line will be discretionary picks Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash. /BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team), Mitchell Hoke (Boulder, Colo./Team Clif Bar), and Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes).

Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna Pro Team) and Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt. / Specialized Racing) will be two more 2012 Olympians to fight for rainbow stripes in Austria. They are joined on the women’s cross country team by automatic qualifiers Monique Pua Mata (Westminister, Calif./Sho-air-Specialized) and Heather Irmiger ( Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek). Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass ./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) and Erin Huck (Boulder, Colo./Toyko Joe's) will round out the women’s squad as discretionary nominations.

The U.S. will also field U23 and junior men’s and women’s squads in the cross-country races.

World Cup stand-out Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing) will lead the U.S. U23 men. He’ll be joined by automatic qualifiers Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Subaru-Trek) and Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC Mountain Bike Development Team), and by discretionary qualifier Skyler Trujillo (Fort Collins, Colo./Niner Stans Ergon). A duo of U23 women will don the red, white and blue. Both automatic qualifiers, Lauren Catlin (Fairfax, Calif./Durango Devo) and Deidre York (Indio, Calif./The Gear Movement-Epic Pro Cycle) will line up to fight for a world title.

In the junior competition, Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing), Connor Bell- (Harrisonburg, Va./Rocktown Racing), and Lucas Newcomb (Nicasio, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized) are automatic qualifiers for the men’s squad while Casey Williams (Big Bear City, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized) will represent the U.S. as a discretionary pick. Kate Courtney- (Kentfield, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized), Grace Alexander (Boise, Idaho/BMC Mountainbike Development Team), and Shayna Powless (Roseville, Calif./BMC Mountainbike Development Team) all automatically qualified to race in the junior women’s event.

For more information about the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, including a complete schedule, visit the event’s official website.

Elite Men Cross-Country

  • Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing)
  • Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Trek) Member)
  • Colin Cares (Boulder, Colo./Kenda-Felt)
  • Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash. /BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team)
  • Mitchell Hoke (Boulder, Colo./Team Clif Bar)
  • Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes)

Elite Women Cross-Country

  • Georgia Gould- (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna Pro Team)
  • Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt. / Specialized Racing)
  • Monique Pua Mata (Westminister, Calif./Sho-air-Specialized)
  • Heather Irmiger ( Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek)
  • Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass ./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes)
  • Erin Huck (Boulder, Colo./Toyko Joe's)

U23 Men Cross-Country

  • Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing)
  • Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Subaru-Trek)
  • Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC Mountain Bike Development Team)
  • Skyler Trujillo (Fort Collins, Colo./Niner Stans Ergon)

U23 Women XCO

  • Lauren Catlin (Fairfax, Calif./Durango Devo)
  • Deidre York (Indio, Calif./The Gear Movement-Epic Pro Cycle)

Junior Men XCO

  • Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing)
  • Connor Bell (Harrisonburg, Va./Rocktown Racing)
  • Lucas Newcomb (Nicasio, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized)
  • Casey Williams (Big Bear City, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized)

Junior Women XCO

  • Kate Courtney (Kentfield, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized)
  • Grace Alexander (Boise, Idaho/BMC Mountainbike Development Team)
  • Shayna Powless (Roseville, Calif./BMC Mountainbike Development Team)
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16 comments
  • kaibrabo

    8/10/2012 2:02 AM

    Is isn't it sick that The junior XCO Lucas and Kate are dating? I wish my gf rode bikes....BTW MARIN REP!

  • maximumradness

    8/7/2012 10:05 PM

    jaime fucking rees!! represent pnw!! so stoked for you this season! killing it.

  • radraz

    8/7/2012 3:47 PM

    maybe I´m wrong but I do count 44...?

  • ruckus222

    8/7/2012 1:44 PM

    Congrats Jackie! Stoked for ya!

  • NoahColorado

    8/7/2012 10:58 AM

    Too bad Alex Willie is hurt!

  • enrico650

    8/7/2012 8:44 AM

    Duncan Riffle ?
    We need people that can win races!

  • TRex

    8/7/2012 2:51 PM

    You idiot, what do you think is going to happen at Worlds? All six other people on the US team are going to win and NOT Duncan?

    Gwin will probably win. Mitch is amazing but not quite up to winning speed yet, same with Elliot, who has flashes of brilliance but hasn't put it together other than a few times. Strobel can always do well, but has 'only' gotten in the top 15 at world cups a few times. Neko has tons of potential, but same as the other guys, I think he's got a year or two more to be a podium threat. Logan doesn't need anyone to say that he is going to kick butt or his head might get bigger. Not that any of this is a knock on those riders, they can all pin it and should go. Reality is that everyone will learn and there will only be one (only one) winner. We've got the strongest team in a long time, and that is something to be proud of.

    As for Duncan, say what you will about him, but he's done well in world cups, and has more elite races under his belt than any of the other guys except for maybe Strobel. Duncan's year hasn't been what he wanted, but he has still done well and has potential. Maybe he can be an asset to the team, imagine that.

  • FCTRY

    8/7/2012 9:54 PM

    Also, who would you have go instead? There's a handful of riders who are good, but out of those I can think of (Keene, Memmelar, Sylvestri, Buell, etc) I would probably still be putting my money on Dunc anyday.

  • erwinmruiz

    8/8/2012 12:42 AM

    Enrico650 had a valid point and comment, no need to call anyone an idiot. How do you define doing well in world cups if Riffle is ranked 82 overall

    http://www.uci.ch/templates/BUILTIN-NOFRAMES/Template3/layout.asp?MenuId=MTUxNjU&LangId=1

  • TRex

    8/8/2012 7:01 AM

    He had a valid point.... which was what? Please provide additional information. Maybe links to the races that everyone else on the team has won that had world cup level competition. And for your question, Duncan is the highest ranked US rider on the world cup circuit after the other six choices and Richie Rude, who is going for juniors. It makes sense to choose him based on that and his past experience. Unless you would rather have Cody Warren go, who is ranked 151. He's the next senior in line on world cup rankings.

  • UpDawg

    8/8/2012 8:26 AM

    Hey TRex, slow your roll man, it's ok. No need for name calling and riff jocking. You are right about one thing- Dunc does have they most WC experience and he also has they most tattoos! So who cares. He has made a brand for himself and that is about it, so congrats to him for still being in the mix. Personally I agree with Enrico- Dunc has never performed in my eyes at the WC level. He might have had some strong finishes back in the noBRA days but thats about it.

    With all that said, we need to let go of the past and give some of these young catz the experience you speak of so that we have a future for our country and its racing. Best of luck to the first five names on that Elite Men's DH list!

    End rant.

  • scriz

    8/8/2012 10:16 AM

    Nothing against Duncan... I like him, and he is surely not having the best season, but he is only highest ranked because he has a factory ride and gets to go to all the WC races and collect points.

    Cody Warren finished 10 places ahead of him at MSA, and nearly 3 seconds ahead ( for 6th place ) at nationals. Kevin Aiello also came in before Riffle at Windham and Nationals as well, along with a handful of other up and comers.

  • Beezkneez

    8/7/2012 6:54 AM

    Why no Katie Holden???

  • neimbc

    8/7/2012 3:18 AM

    Gwin is a two time WC winner - not four (yet)

  • cake1dlx

    8/7/2012 6:50 AM

    He won 4 rounds so far in 2012. 2 time overall, but 4 total world cup wins this season.

  • neimbc

    8/7/2012 10:55 AM

    My mistake - misread the 4X WC in 2012 part -

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