USA Cycling Announces Updates to the National Team
February 22, 2018 (Colorado Springs, Colo.) USA Cycling announced today that four new athletes have been named to the 2018 USA Cycling National Team from the disciplines of BMX (Nina Buitrago), cyclocross (Elle Anderson, Kaitlin Keough) and mountain biking (Aaron Gwin) based on performances in international competition. In addition, one existing USA Cycling National Team Member, Katie Compton, was being upgraded to Gold level support based on her silver medal at the 2018 UCI Cyclocross World Championships.
USA Cycling CEO, Derek Bouchard-Hall, commented, “The USA Cycling National Team is a new initiative within our elite athletics programs designed to focus and enhance the support we provide America’s very best cyclists. The honor is bestowed only on those at the very top of their sport, based on objective criteria, and we are thrilled when new athletes achieve the distinction of being on the Team.”
Scott Schnitzspahn, Vice President of Elite Athletics for USA Cycling, elaborated, “By design, the USA Cycling National Team will evolve as athletes meet the objective qualifying criteria. We look forward to working with these new members of the team to support them in achieving their goals.”
Mountain Bike Downhill legend, five time World Cup overall champion, Aaron Gwin (The YT Mob; San Diego, Calif.) joins the Team for 2018 based on his bronze medal finish at the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Cairns, Australia.
"I'm stoked to be joining the USA Cycling National Team,” said Gwin. “I'm excited about what the program will provide me, but I also hope that together, we can work to improve the level of elite racing in the United States more broadly. I look forward to supporting USA Cycling’s efforts to help the younger DH racers who have goals of racing World Cups someday."
In Cyclocross, Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek/Panache; Colorado Springs, CO.), an original member of the USA Cycling National Team announced in December, has earned Gold Level support based on her silver medal at the recent 2018 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in the Netherlands.
“It’s a special honor to be part of the USA Cycling National Team, and very helpful,” said Compton. “Going into a new season knowing I’ll have more support from USA Cycling to help me be a better cyclocross racer is a great feeling. Competing on the international level and getting results it not easy, so knowing I have a team of people from USA Cycling behind me to help get things accomplished is a nice stress relief.”
Other athletes also achieving top results at the Cyclocross World Championships, which earned them a spot on the USA Cycling National Team, include Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld; Colorado Springs, Colo.) with a 6th place finish in the elite women’s race, and Elle Anderson (Milwaukee - Alpha Motorhomes; Stowe, Vt.) with an 8th place finish in the elite women’s race.
“I am excited and extremely honored to be named to the USA Cycling National Team. It is fantastic to be recognized for my achievements in this way,” Keough said of her addition. “I now have clear access to great support and a great group of very experienced individuals. Being a member of USA Cycling’s new National Team program will be a huge advantage leading into next season. It’s motivating to know that we have that type of investment and belief behind us. ”
Anderson said, "To be named to the USA Cycling National Team is a huge opportunity for me. The ability to have the resources, support, and guidance from this program year-round will help me develop as a cyclocross racer."
Finally, BMX Freestyle athlete, Nina Buitrago (Fox Racing; Austin, Texas) was added to the USA Cycling National Team as a result of her 10th place finish at the 2017 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships in Chengdu, China. She joins 55 other USA Cycling National Team athletes hoping to earn a medal at the first ever BMX Freestyle event at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
In December 2017, USA Cycling announced the launch of the USA Cycling National Team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The National Team is comprised of individuals who have been identified as top performing, world-class athletes in their disciplines based on objective performance-based criteria. That criteria is unique to each discipline and is designed to select only those athletes who are performing at the very top of the world in their discipline.
Being on the USA Cycling National Team does not provide automatic access to World Championships teams or the Olympics, as those opportunities must be earned according to a clearly defined selection process open to all athletes. However, it does provide year-round access to USA Cycling’s highest level of athlete support, which may include:
- Direct funding and health insurance
- Access to U.S. Olympic Training Centers
- Access to sport performance services: physiology, nutrition, sport psychology, strength and conditioning, technology and sports medicine
- Access to U.S. Olympic Committee national medical network
- Support from a USA Cycling Performance Director in partnership with the athlete’s personal coach, professional team, and extended support network
- Travel support to attend National Team projects, qualifying events, and camps
- High performance clothing and equipment provided by USA Cycling partners
USA Cycling has outlined clear athlete development pathways for each discipline to help aspiring athletes of all abilities understand the process and expectations. All information is available on the usacycling.org/team.
For more information contact: Kelly Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org