Analysis: U.S. worlds team takes shape ahead of key qualifying period

  • By Brian Holcombe
  • Published Dec. 3, 2012
  • Updated Oct. 30, 2014 at 1:33 PM EDT
First-year U23 Andrew Dillman is one rider for the future that may find himself racing in Louisville. Photo: VeloVivid | Cincinnati Cyclocross Festival

Who joins McDonald?

The top of the U23 category is clear — but that is it. Zach McDonald has proven the class of the field in the U.S. this fall, save for Yannick Eckmann (Cal Giant-Specialized), who will likely miss worlds after applying for dual German-U.S. citizenship this year.

Beyond McDonald, the espoirs group will likely comprise development riders like Cal Giant teammates Cody Kaiser and Tobin Ortenblad; first-year U23 Andrew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill); mountain bike worlds team member Skyler Trujillo (Boo); Marian University sophomore Joshua Johnson; and former mountain bike nationals podium finisher Chase Dickens (American Classic).

“Over 10 years, it always seems we have a lot of range in the U23,” said Eurocross Camp director Geoff Proctor, who will take a number of the espoir and junior riders to Belgium in December. “We’re more wide open in the U23 historically for a number of reasons.”

Those reasons include school commitments and the physical differences between 18-year-olds and 22-year-olds, according to Proctor, who will take a full roster of U23 and junior men to the Zolder World Cup the day after Christmas. That day in Zolder will give a good look at who the four riders we’ll see with McDonald might be. At this point, it appears the two young men with the inside line are Ortenblad and Dillman. Beyond them, the selection is, as Proctor says, wide open.

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Brian Holcombe

Brian Holcombe

Brian Holcombe is the editor of Holcombe joined VeloNews in 2009 following years spent introducing students to whitewater kayaking and working in avalanche control, among other more risky ventures. A Master of PR and Marketing Communications, his graduate work at the University of Denver focused on innovation, digital media management and custom publishing. Holcombe is a CSU Ram fan and proud parent, and has been accused of attacking too much on the VN lunch ride. Follow him on Twitter @FCBrian.

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