Exeter native fails in bid for Olympic mountain biking team

Exeter native Adam Craig, a member of the U.S. Olympic mountain bike team, cuts through the brush at the edge of Bangor City Forest.
Exeter native Adam Craig, a member of the U.S. Olympic mountain bike team, cuts through the brush at the edge of Bangor City Forest. Buy Photo
Posted June 20, 2012, at 11:07 a.m.
Exeter native Adam Craig.
Exeter native Adam Craig. Buy Photo

USA Cycling has announced its 2012 Olympic mountain biking teams, and Exeter native Adam Craig will not be making a return trip to the Summer Games in August.

Todd Wells of Durango, Colo., a veteran Olympian, and newcomer Sam Schultz of Missoula, Mont., were selected as discretionary picks to fill the two men’s spots available to the U.S. team based on its standing in the International Cycling Union’s World Cup rankings.

Wells finished seventh at the 2011 world championships and earned four top 20 World Cup and world championship finishes over the past 12 months to earn his third Olympic berth, while Schultz has the top World Cup average finish among the U.S. contingent in 2012.

All of USA Cycling’s discretionary nominations are made by a committee facilitated by USA Cycling staff, using the posted principles of discretionary selection that are centered on an athlete’s capability to medal or otherwise enhance team performance and create a medal-capable environment.

Two women also will represent the United States in mountain biking at the London Games: Georgia Gould of Fort Collins, Colo., and Lea Davison of Jericho, Vt. Gould automatically qualified by ranking among the top 10 in the individual UCI World Cup rankings as of May 31, while Davison was a discretionary selection after finishing among the top 10 at three World Cup or world championship events in the last 24 months.

The 30-year-old Craig, who competed with Wells at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, got off to a sluggish start in World Cup competition this spring and ranked fourth among American riders and 67th overall in the UCI point standings behind Wells (25th overall), Schultz (44nd) and 2004 U.S. Olympian Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (65th).

He indicated in recent weeks that he did not expect to be selected to the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.

Craig, a Bend, Ore., resident, finished second last weekend in the Pro XCT event at Colorado Springs, Colo. Craig finished 13 seconds behind the time of 1 hour, 15 minutes and 30 seconds that earned another Bend resident, Ryan Trebon, the victory in the men’s cross country race at the Ute Valley Pro XCT.

Wells, Schultz and Horgan-Kobelski were next, all three seconds behind Craig.

Craig is expected to compete back East for the next two weeks, with UCI World Cup stops at Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, this weekend and at Windham Mountain, N.Y., on June 30-July 1.

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