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Source link : https://news-sports.org/2024/07/02/cycling/usa-cycling-announces-olympic-games-paris-2024-mountain-bike-team-cycling-west/

Batten, Blunk, Blevins, and Amos will represent the United States in the Cross-Country Olympic Mountain Bike event in Paris.

BENTONVILLE, Arkansas (June 11, 2024) — Brendan Quirk, CEO and President of USA Cycling, revealed the four athletes selected for the Mountain Biking events at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 during a press conference held at Ledger Bentonville in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Haley Batten at the rock drop on her way to winning the Elite Women’s XCO title at the 2024 Utah Pan Am Mountain Bike Championships at Soldier Hollow, Utah. Photo by Dave Iltis

Since 2022, the USA Cycling National Team has been vying for international ranking points through the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) with the goal of placing in the top eight as a Nation in the MTB Olympic Qualification Rankings. Top performances in UCI events over the past two years brought the U.S. men into the top five of the MTB Olympic Qualification Rankings, and the U.S. women into the top three, qualifying both genders for maximum available quota spots at the Olympic Games – two men and two women.

Alec Pasqualina, USA Cycling’s Director of Mountain Bike said, “The 2024 USA Mountain Bike Olympic Team is one to watch with medal potential in both the Women’s and Men’s event. The United States has steadily been regaining prominence since Tokyo and we are excited to show the world what we are capable of. Each one of our four mountain bike Olympians in 2024 continue to impress us and we know they will represent our nation well.”

The 2024 U.S. Olympic Mountain Bike Team roster includes two Tokyo 2020 returning Olympians, and two first-timers. In the first three UCI Mountain Bike World Cups of the season, this group collectively rode to six Elite Cross-Country Olympic (XCO) podiums, five Elite Short Track (XCC) podiums, and a perfect season in the U23 Men’s races. The team is reaching peak performance just in time for the world’s biggest stage this summer in Paris.

Haley Batten – Photo by Jack Tennyson, courtesy USA Cycling

Haley Batten (Park City, Utah; Specialized Factory Racing) returns to the Olympic Team after doubling down with wins in both the Short Track and Cross-Country events at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Brazil. The 2024 Pan American Champion proved to be at the top of her game, and the one to beat leading the team into her second Olympic Games.

Haley Batten (Park City, Utah; Specialized Factory Racing): “My Olympic pursuit has been an amazing journey. Through injury, personal growth, and relentless hard work, I am proud to earn my spot to represent Team USA in Paris. Throughout my youth, I have dreamed of becoming an Olympic athlete and to earn a medal for the USA. I am honored to have this opportunity and I am fully focused on preparing at my best.”

Savilia Blunk – Photo by Jack Tennyson, courtesy USA Cycling

For the first time, Savilia Blunk (Inverness, Calif.; Decathlon-Ford Racing Team) will take the Olympic stage. The back-to-back U.S. National Champion showcased her skills and ability to compete at the highest level over the past two years, especially in the opening World Cup rounds scoring a silver and two bronze medals.

Savilia Blunk (Inverness, Calif.; Decathlon-Ford Racing Team): “Competing at the Olympics is something I’ve dreamed about ever since my first race in the NorCal NICA league. When I was 15, this dream felt almost inconceivable. I knew it would take a lot of hard work, but what was even harder to find in the process was team support, resources, and funding to get myself to the biggest stage. It was never a clear path, but I was relentlessly committed and never gave up. Now looking back, I realize this WAS the path all along – never giving up on my dreams. I’m so proud to have reached this moment and am super excited to represent the USA in Paris!”

On the men’s side, both riders hail from Durango, Colorado carrying forward the town’s prominent Olympic legacy. They join the ranks of the Olympic mountain bikers that came before them – Travis Brown (’00), Todd Wells (’04, ’08, ’12), and Howard Grotts (’16) – marking the 2024 Olympics as the seventh consecutive Games in which a male cyclist from Durango will compete.

Christopher Blevins on his way to winning the Elite Men’s XCO race at the 2024 Utah Pan Am Mountain Bike Championships at Soldier Hollow, Utah. Photo by Dave IltisChristopher Blevins – Photo by Jack Tennyson, courtesy USA Cycling

Short Track World Champion and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo.; Specialized Factory Racing) will attend his second Olympic Games. Blevins shocked the American crowds in 2021 after winning the first Elite Men’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in nearly 30 years and did it on U.S. soil in Snowshoe, WV. Since then, he has been on the hunt for another podium and showed his true grit and strength to win the opening UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 2024.

Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo.; Specialized Factory Racing): “The magnitude of the Olympics is one of the most special things to experience as an athlete. Being a part of Team USA is a celebration that extends beyond yourself, and there’s a whole team giving their best in the sport we love. I was proud to make it to Tokyo in 2021, and maybe even more so to make my second Olympic games, with the opportunity to give it everything for a medal on July 29th in Paris. The sport of Mountain Biking is growing at an exciting rate in the States, and I know this Games will be another step in that direction.”

Riley Amos – Photo by Jack Tennyson, courtesy USA Cycling

A rider the mountain bike world has been watching for quite some time is 22-year-old Riley Amos (Durango, Colo.; Trek Factory Racing). He has shown exceptional talent at a young age, and proved this year that he is one of the most dominate Under-23 mountain bikers on the circuit. In 2021, Amos was the first American man to ever win a U23 World Cup. He went on to make this a regular occurrence taking 11 XCO podiums since then and has had the perfect season in 2024.

Riley Amos (Durango, Colo.; Trek Factory Racing): “I really don’t think it has sunk in yet that I will be representing my country in Paris this summer. I think when I get to feel that atmosphere and really experience it all for the first time it’s all going to sink in. I am not really putting much pressure on the performance, but instead taking in this incredible opportunity and moment at the biggest mountain bike race in the world to celebrate how far we have come in the last few years and to learn all I can for the 2028 games. I’m proud to continue the legacy of Mountain Bike Olympians from Durango, Colorado, as I would not be who I am without my special little community at home.”

The Paris 2024 Olympic Games run from July 26 – August 11 with cycling competing every day of the Games. The Women’s Cross-Country Mountain Bike event will take place on Sunday, July 28, and the Men’s event will be the following day on Monday, July 29, both starting at 8:00 am ET.

2024 U.S. Olympic Mountain Bike Team

Women

Haley Batten (Park City, Utah; Specialized Factory Racing)
Savilia Blunk (Inverness, Calif.; Decathlon-Ford Racing Team)
Men

Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo.; Specialized Factory Racing)
Riley Amos (Durango, Colo.; Trek Factory Racing)

 

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Source link : https://www.cyclingwest.com/racing/mountain-bike-racing/usa-cycling-announces-olympic-games-paris-2024-mountain-bike-team/

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Publish date : 2024-06-13 03:00:00

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Author : News-Sports

Publish date : 2024-07-03 02:45:31

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