World champion Kate Courtney leads the finalists for the U.S. Olympic cycling team across the road, track and mountain events.
USA Cycling named its “long team” on Thursday in a live streamed announcement on its YouTube page featuring actor Patrick Dempsey and NBC Sports anchor Steve Schlanger. Most of the cyclists will ultimately make the Tokyo Olympic roster. The rest will be alternates. Nobody outside of the long team can go to the Olympics, according to USA Cycling.
The long team features world champions in Courtney, Chloe Dygert (the lone cyclist among the finalists who previously clinched an Olympic spot), Amber Neben, Jennifer Valente, Emma White and Lily Williams.
Courtney won the 2018 World title in mountain bike and eyes the first U.S. Olympic title in the discipline that debuted at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Dygert is a reigning world champion on the road and the track. Valente, White and Williams joined Dygert on a team pursuit squad that won a world title on Feb. 27. Neben won world road time trial titles in 2008 and 2016.
The men on the long team are led by Tour de France veteran Tejay van Garderen.
Van Garderen placed fifth in the Tour de France in 2012 and 2014, the best finish for an American at the three-week stage race since 2008. Van Garderen also has the top Tour de France finish for an American in this Olympic cycle — 32nd in 2018.
Van Garderen withdrew from Rio Olympic consideration due to Zika virus concerns four years ago, when his wife was pregnant with their second child,
The full Olympic long team for road, track and mountain events:
Tejay van Garderen
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USA Cycling names Olympic long team, finalists for Tokyo Games originally appeared on NBCSports.com