U.S. announces Olympics track team

  • By Spencer Powlison
  • Published Mar. 18, 2016
  • Updated Mar. 18, 2016 at 11:12 PM EDT
The U.S. women's pursuit team of Sarah Hammer, Jennifer Valente, Chloe Dygert, and Kelly Catlin showed off their gold medals at 2016 track worlds. Photo: Casey B. Gibson |

USA Cycling announced its track team for the Rio Olympic games Friday, a fresh-faced squad with five of six riders aged 23 years or younger. The Americans have yet to select a men’s omnium rider, but otherwise, there are few surprises in the 2016 line-up.

Sarah Hammer is the team’s most experienced rider, with two Olympic silvers to her credit, as well as eight world championship titles. The Colorado-based 32-year-old will race two events: team pursuit and omnium. She’s currently ranked third by the UCI in the six-event individual race and won a bronze in the omnium at worlds in London.

Four young talents are joining Hammer on the team pursuit squad: Kelly Catlin, Chloe Dygert, Jennifer Valente, and Ruth Winder are all Olympics first-timers, ranging in age from 19 (Dygert) to 22 (Winder). However, the young outfit, captained by Hammer impressed at London worlds, handily winning the title in the team pursuit

Matt Baranoski, 23, is the only confirmed rider on the men’s team. He finished 23rd out of 25 riders in the world championship keirin. He’s currently ranked 10th in the world in that sprint event and finished third in the keirin at the second round of the Track World Cup in December 2015. This will be his first Olympics as well.

There are questions as to whether Bobby Lea, America’s top omnium rider, will be allowed to race the Olympics, given a recent doping suspension. USA Cycling will not announce its omnium selection until April 1.

Women’s team

Kelly Catlin (NorthStar Development): Team pursuit
Chloe Dygert (Twenty16 – Sho-air): Team pursuit
Sarah Hammer: Omnium*, team pursuit
Jennifer Valente (Twenty16 – Sho-Air): Team pursuit
Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare): Team pursuit

Men’s team

Matt Baranoski (Custom Velo): Keirin
Men’s omnium will be decided by April 1

*automatic qualification

FILED UNDER: News / Track TAGS: /

Spencer Powlison

Spencer Powlison

When it comes to bike racing, Spencer is a jack-of-all-trades. He loves pinning on a number, whether it’s in a local criterium, a mountain bike enduro, a cyclocross national championship, or a gran fondo. Name any cycling discipline, and more likely than not, Spencer has ridden or raced it. He has been lucky enough to work in the bike industry for the majority of his adult life, from his time turning wrenches in a Vermont bike shop to his five-year tenure at the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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