USA Cycling announced the team that will represent the United States at the 2008 UCI Road World Championships in Varese, Italy September 23-28. Seventeen athletes will compete in Elite and U23 categories as part of a squad that is defined by experience on the women’s side and youth on the men’s.
Leading the women’s team is 2008 Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong, who will compete in both the time trial and road race. Joining Armstrong in both events are fellow 2008 U.S. Olympic Team members Christine Thorburn and Amber Neben. Katheryn Curi-Mattis and Kori Seehafer – both of whom won a UCI World Cup race this season – and reigning USA Cycling women’s road race national champion Brooke Miller will complement the U.S. squad in the road race.
Christine Thorburn is retiring after the Varesse World's to focus on her medical practice in Palo Alto, California
Armstrong, who has won three consecutive world championship medals in the time trial (bronze in 2005, gold in 2006 and silver in 2007), looks to join Greg LeMond as the only four-time medalist in U.S. cycling history at the road world championships.
Kim Anderson also received an automatic nomination to the team, but declined her spot.
“The women’s squad is one of the strongest we’ve assembled,” said Pat McDonough, USA Cycling Director of Athletics. “All three of our athletes are capable of winning a medal in the time trial, while the team’s collective talent and history of racing together on the national team throughout the years creates a cohesive environment that will work to our advantage in the road race.”
Can Dave Zabriskie return to top form in Varesse after crashing out of the Giro in May?
Levi Leipheimer and David Zabriskie will both compete in the elite men’s time trial. In the road race, Leipheimer will be joined by Tyler Farrar, Steven Cozza, Craig Lewis and Lucas Euser.
Several of the United States’ top road athletes – Olympians George Hincapie, Jason McCartney, and Christian Vande Velde, as well as USA Cycling Professional Road Race Champion Tyler Hamilton – all declined automatic nominations to the team.
“After enduring a long season of Spring Classics, the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, the Vuelta and Pro Tour races in the U.S., it’s understandable many of our top men’s athletes would opt out of the World Championships,” McDonough said. “That’s great in the sense that it provides some of our younger athletes with an opportunity to get world championship experience at the elite level. These are some of our future stars who will likely be competing in this race for years to come, so it’s important they begin receiving some exposure at this level.”
Following a solid performance in the Tour de L’Avenir in France last week with the USA Cycling National Development Team, Tejay Van Garderen and Peter Stetina will both represent the U.S. in the U23 time trial and road race. They will be joined in the road race by Kirk Carlsen, Chris Barton and Chad Beyer. The U23 squad enters the world championships after a tremendous performance in what is widely considered to be the most prestigious international race for U23 riders in the world.
At the Tour de L’Avenir, the National Development Team finished second overall in the team standings, while Stetina wore the yellow leader’s jersey and Van Garderen won the ninth and final stage.
2008 UCI Road World Championships
Varese, Italy September 23-28
Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho) – Road Race, Time Trial
Katheryn Curi-Mattis (Mountain View, Calif.) – Road Race
Brooke Miller (Los Altos, Calif.) – Road Race
Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.) – Road Race, Time Trial
Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo.) – Road Race
Christine Thorburn (Sunnyvale, Calif.) – Road Race, Time Trial
Steven Cozza (Petaluma, Calif.) – Road Race
Lucas Euser (Napa, Calif.) – Road Race
Tyler Farrar (Wenatchee, Wash.) – Road Race
Levi Leipheimer (Santa Rosa, Calif.) – Road Race, Time Trial
Craig Lewis (Spartanburg, S.C.) – Road Race
David Zabriskie (Salt Lake City, Utah) – Time Trial
Chris Barton (Ojai, Calif.) – Road Race
Chad Beyer (Anthem, Ariz.) – Road Race
Kirk Carlsen (Sandown, N.H.) – Road Race
Peter Stetina (Boulder, Colo.) – Road Race, Time Trial
Tejay Van Garderen (Fort Collins, Colo.) – Road Race, Time Trial
© BikeRadar & USA Cycling 2008