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USA Cycling names 17-rider team to contest 2013 Continental Mountain Bike Championships

USA Cycling on Friday announced the 17 riders that will represent their country at the 2013 Continental Mountain Bike Championships in Tucuman, Argentina, from April 3-7.

“Compared to previous years, we are bringing a small, but very strong team this year to the Pan Am Championships,” USA Cycling Mountain Bike Program Director Marc Gullickson said. “We certainly have good chances to win in all categories and I expect we will bring home some medals as well as international race experience.”

Four riders will represent the United States in the elite men’s cross-country mountain category. Defending national champion, Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Trek Factory Racing), who also represented his country at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, is the lone automatic nomination to the team as he is the second-ranked American in the UCI’s rankings as of March 1.

Schultz is joined by a trio of discretionary selections, including Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./ Kenda-Seven-Stan’s No Tubes), Colin Cares (Boulder, Colo./Kenda-Felt) and Mitchell Hoke (Boulder, Colo./Kenda-Felt).

Broderick’s wife and 2004 and 2008 Olympian, Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-Stan’s No Tubes), is the third-ranked American woman in the UCI’s standings as of March 1 and has earned an automatic selection. Joining McConneloug will be a discretionary selection, Erin Huck (Boulder, Colo./Tokyo Joe’s).

Three burgeoning stars will represent the United States in the U23 men’s category as discretionary selections. Defending national champion, Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Trek Factory Racing) will be joined by Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC U23 Mountainbike Development Team), who finished third in the cross-country mountain bike race at the 2012 Pan American Championships, and Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing). Swenson, who won the juniors men 17-18 national championship in 2012, earned a silver medal as a juniors rider at the Pan American Championships in 2012.

Shayna Powless (Roseville, Calif./BMC Mountainbike Development Team) is the lone representative for the Americans in the women’s U23 category. Powless, a discretionary selection, placed second in the women’s U23 race at the national championships and placed fifth in two UCI World Cup races in 2012.

The Americans are strong in the juniors category as well. Automatic selection Kate Courtney (Kentfield, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized), who is the top-ranked American in the UCI’s rankings, will contest the juniors women’s race. Lucas Newcomb(Nicasio, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized), who finished second to Swenson in the juniors men’s 17-18 race at the 2012 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships, is a discretionary selection to compete in the juniors men’s race.

The United States will send five discretionary selections to contest the elite downhill categories. Two-time defending Pan American downhill champion, Jacqueline Harmony (Tucson, Ariz./A Culture of Speed) is the lone American elite women’s rider. Matthew Branney (Littleton, Colo.), Dante Harmony (Tucson, Ariz.), Max Morgan (Duluth, Ga.) and Graeme Pitts (Nevada City, Calif./Turner Bicycles-ONE Industries-Smith Optics-Hay) are the four discretionary selections donning the red, white and blue in the elite men’s category.

Competition is slated to begin Friday, April 3, in Tucuman, Argentina.

2013 Continental Mountain Bike Championships
Tucuman, Argentina
April 3-7, 2013

Elite Men
*Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Trek Factory Racing)
Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./ Kenda-Seven-Stan’s No Tubes)
Colin Cares (Boulder, Colo./Kenda-Felt)
Mitchell Hoke (Boulder, Colo./Kenda-Felt)

Elite Women
*Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-Stan’s No Tubes)
Erin Huck (Boulder, Colo./Tokyo Joe’s)

U23 Men
Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Trek Factory Racing)
Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing)
Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC U23 Mountainbike Development Team)

U23 Women
Shayna Powless (Roseville, Calif./BMC Mountainbike Development Team)

Juniors Men
Lucas Newcomb (Nicasio, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized)

Juniors Women
*Kate Courtney (Kentfield, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized)

Elite Downhill Men
Matthew Branney (Littleton, Colo.)
Dante Harmony (Tucson, Ariz.)
Max Morgan (Duluth, Ga.)
Graeme Pitts (Nevada City, Calif./Turner Bicycles-ONE Industries-Smith Optics-Hay)

Elite Downhill Women
Jacqueline Harmony (Tucson, Ariz./A Culture of Speed)

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