USA Cycling last week announced the roster for the junior and U23 riders who will represent the US during February’s UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships in Bogense, Denmark, but the decision not to fill the fifth allocated spot for the U23 women sparked some controversy on social media.
USA Cycling earned five spots for the U23 men, U23 women and junior men, choosing to send six riders for the U23 men and juniors [because Pan American champions for the U23 and junior categories get an automatic invitation that doesn’t count against the allotted spots – ed.] but only sending four with the U23 women.
The U23 women’s roster includes recently crowned US champion Clara Honsinger (Team S&M CX), junior women’s champion Katie Clouse (Alpha Bicycle Co / Groove Subaru), Emma Swartz (Trek Cyclocross Collective) and Maddie Munro (Boulder Junior Cycling).
The issue quickly blew up on Twitter, with prominent US riders chiming in and questioning the decision. Ellen Noble, who finished second in the U23 world championships in January of 2017, pointed out that she finished sixth in her first junior nationals when she was 17, then was second at U23 worlds when she was 21, just seconds off the win.
“I don’t think anyone would have considered me ‘medal potential’ based on those early years,” Noble wrote. “I believe in supporting athletes at all points in their journey.”
In a statement to CX Magazine, USA Cycling said “only three U23 women riders met the qualifications in the selection criteria for the World Championships team, and we selected one rider as a discretionary nomination based on her future medal capability.”
— Ellen Noble (@ellenlikesbikes) December 21, 2018
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