USA Cycling Funds 10 to First Two SX Races

February 28, 2012 by  

Arielle Martin and Brook Crain of Team USA

USA Cycling BMX announced their funded team for the first two Supercross World Cup events of 2012 on Monday. A total of ten athletes—-five men and five women–will officially represent Team USA at next month’s Chula Vista Supercross (on March 30-31), then onto Randaberg, Norway on April 13-14.

Due to the Olympic Games in August, the 2012 season is on a fairly short runway, with only three World Cup events before the the World Championships in May (23-27). The final World Cup event, prior to the worlds will be in Papendal, Netherlands on May 12-13.

USA Cycling typically selects funded riders one race at a time, based on performance criteria set forth in the “BMX Supercross Selection Principles” PDF. But, due to the timeframe being so short between the first two races, it was decided that the Team selected for Chula Vista would also don the Team USA jersey in Norway.

Interestingly enough, if you’re a US Citizen, you don’t have to be “funded” to fly the USA colors. Mike King tells NEWS: “We don’t discourage anyone from wearing our National Team jersey, and see this from time to time if a rider is unsponsored.” Something else we didn’t know…if your money is where your mouth is, and you are paying your own way to the race, performance will have its rewards. If you hit the podium at a World Cup event, your travel expenses will be reimbursed, AND you will receive a “podium bonus” of $1000 for first, $750 for second, or $500 for third from USA Cycling. That is pretty awesome, and we’re not sure a lot of people know about that fact (hence the reason we’re writing about it).

USA Cycling BMX Funded Team for Chula Vista and Randaberg

Connor Fields (Henderson, NV / Chase BMX)*
David Herman (Wheat Ridge, CO / Free Agent-Rockstar)*
Nic Long (Lakeside, CA / Haro Bikes)*
Mike Day (San Diego, CA / GT Bicycles)
Corben Sharrah (Tucson, AZ / GT Bicycles)

Brooke Crain (Visalia, CA / Haro Bikes)*
Arielle Martin (Spanaway, WA / Intense BMX)*
Amanda Carr (Punta Gorda, FL / Endeavor-Paul Williams)
Amanda Geving (Largo, FL / MCS Bicycles)
Alise Post (Saint Cloud, MN / Redline Bicycles)

*The asterisks next to the rider names indicate the athlete met USA Cycling’s “automatic selection criteria” (they are listed alphabetically within groupings). This criteria covers Elite Men who are ranked in the top three in the overall SX rankings; top two for Elite Women. Regarding the other five spots, USA Cycling BMX Program Director Mike King told NEWS “The remaining riders were nominated based on a 12-month performance-evaluation window and from our last two training camps.”

Arielle and Connor are fresh off World Cup wins at the 2011 World Cup season finale in Chula Vista, so we’re anxious to see them do their thing, right back where we left off. The balance of the field have been training hard, and looking strong…we’re expecting some big things from them. Nic will be fresh from an injury suffered in January, and is expected to be back tearin it up by Chula.

The three World Cup events and the World Championships are critical for both UCI Nations Ranking points (which directly control the number of start spots for the London Games). Team USA is in third place at present for the Elite Men’s Nations Rankings (Australia and France are 1-2, respectively). Among our guys, Connor has the points lead, with 1304, then David (1237), then Nic (1214).

The Nations picture is just as rosy for the women–moreso, in fact–with the American Girls in second for Nations Ranking points, behind Australia. Taking a granular look at how the points break out within Team USA’s Elite Women, we have Brooke leading with 1584 points, Arielle (1388), and Amanda Geving with 1136.

And while the Nations Rankings determine how many riders each nation can send, it is the USA Cycling BMX “Power Rankings” which help determine WHO, from Team USA, will be sent to fill those earned slots.

The Power Rankings will determine the first “automatic” spot on the London 2012 Team, following the World Championships. The 2012 Power Rankings started at the London World Cup (Olympic Test Event) last August, and include all the World Cup Races this year (Chula, Randaberg, Papendal), as well as the USA Cycling BMX National Championships (in Chula Vista on April 1), and finally, on to the World Championships on 5/25).

Boosted by their respective wins of the 2011 Chula World Cup, Connor and Arielle are sitting atop the Power Rankings going into the Calendar 2012 events.

With 31 days between now and the first Time Trial gate in Chula Vista on March 30, keep your eyes here on BMX News for as-they-happen updates on Team USA’s sprint to London.