With less than two months before the start of the 2013 World Championships in Louisville, KY, it’s time to start thinking about who will represent the US on their home soil. Many of the riders on this list (consider it an unofficial long list) will head to Europe in a few weeks to try and maximize their UCI points and race with the best in the World.
The qualifications for making the US Worlds team are pretty specific and detailed. However, as we’ll find out, there’s currently only three riders who are guaranteed a spot on the US team. The rest will come down to UCI points and discretionary picks made by USA Cycling.
As one of the top five ranked nations, based on total UCI points, the US is allowed to select nine riders for the 2013 World Championships, with six riders allowed to race. While this could change over the coming weeks, the US should hang on to their spot, qualifying the maximum number of riders.
Note: Belgium will have at least one extra rider as the outgoing World Champion is automatically guaranteed a spot, as is the current World Cup leader.
How those nine riders are selected is largely up to the national federation, in this case it is USA Cycling (USAC). USAC has laid out specific guidelines of how it will select its riders, but because of Jeremy Powers incredible season, he fills several of the automatic qualification criteria. This means that nearly half the team could be made up of discretionary picks by USAC.
2013 World Championship Qualification – US Elite Men
- A rider who finishes in the top five at a World Cup.
- No rider has done so yet.
- The 2013 National Champion.
- Not determined yet.
- Top three UCI ranked riders. Riders must be in the top 50 overall.
- Jeremy Powers (12)
- Ryan Trebon (17)
- Tim Johnson (23)
- Top 15 in a World Cup
- Jeremy Powers – already qualified
- Most points accumulated in US UCI C1 races:
- Jeremy Powers – already qualified
- USAC Discretionary Picks
- Rather than guess at what USAC is going to do, here’s a breakdown of the most likely candidates for the remaining six spots. This also assumes that either Powers, Johnson or Trebon win Nationals and no one finishes inside the top five of a World Cup.
- James Driscoll – in addition to having competed in multiple World Championships, Driscoll is the only rider to win a UCI C1 race in the US that hasn’t already qualified for the team. He finished seventh in the USGP, which could also help his case. Note: the top three spots in the USGP were occupied by Powers, Trebon and Johnson, Ben Berden (Belgium) was fourth.
- Jonathan Page – the only American to medal at an Elite World Championship, Page has spent the bulk of his season racing in Europe. Despite it being an up and down season, Page is the fourth highest ranked rider in terms of UCI points and raced well when he started his season in the US.
- Chris Jones – fifth in the USGP, Jones is the seventh highest ranked US rider in terms of UCI points behind Powers, Trebon, Johnson, Driscoll and Zach McDonald, who will be racing the U23 race.
- Daniel Summerhill – a former Worlds medalist, Summerhill has come on strong late in the season. He finished sixth overall at the USGP and is the ninth highest ranked American in terms of UCI points.
- Jeremy Durrin – after spending some time racing in Europe last winter, Durrin picked up his first UCI victory of his career earlier this year. He’s the eighth ranked American in terms of UCI points and will head back to Europe to improve his odds.
- Justin Lindine – the winner of the VERGE NECCS series, Lindine finished 15th in the USGP despite only racing half the series. He heads to Europe in a few weeks to cement what may be the final spot on the Worlds team.
As previously mentioned, there are still nearly two months until Worlds, but as we get closer, this list should become clearer and perhaps a few surprises will make a run at representing the US on home soil. One thing is clear, Powers, Trebon and Johnson are in, barring some sort of act of the cross gods. The sixth other riders who will make this team have about six weeks to make USAC, and the World, recognize them as one of America’s best.