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CYCLING - Taylor Phinney Sets New World Record in Junior Men's 3000-Meter Individual Pursuit; Bobby Lea, Michael Blatchford Meet Automatic Criteria for Beijing Games

June 18, 2008, 8:14 p.m. (ET)

Carson, Calif. (June 16, 2008)—As the United States Cycling Team makes its final preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games, several track athletes attended USA Cycling’s Team Selection Camp June 15-16 at the ADT Event Center in suburban Los Angeles where records fell and automatic time standards were eclipsed by five riders.

Seventeen-year-old Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) set a new junior world record in the men’s 3000-meter individual pursuit. The reigning junior world champion clocked a new record time of 3 minutes, 16.589 seconds to lower the previous record of 3:17.775 set by Australia’s Michael Ford in 2004. The record attempt was part of Phinney’s training program leading into next month’s UCI Junior Road and Track World Championships in South Africa. In January, he met the automatic time standard to earn a nomination to the Olympic Team in the elite distance of 4000 meters at the third round of the UCI Track World Cup series.

Already set to earn an automatic nomination to the Olympic Team in the women’s match sprint because of her bronze medal performance at the world championships in March, Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.) also attended the camp to attempt world records in two events – the flying 200 and 500-meter time trials. At the 500-meter distance, Reed fell just short, recording a time of 29.662 seconds, just 0.007 seconds off the world record pace of 29.655 set by Erika Salumae of the Soviet Union in 1987. The performance was however a new U.S. national record.

In the 200-meter distance, Reed clocked an 11.490, a mark that was well off the 10.831-second record set by Olga Slyusareva (RUS) in 1993. With a trip to Beijing already secure as a world championship medalist, Reed’s 200-meter time did however eclipse the automatic time standard of 11.610 seconds to warrant an automatic nomination.

For Phinney and Reed, the camp was primarily used for preparation. For several other men’s sprint and endurance athletes, the camp served as a selection event with riders looking to meet automatic time standards that would yield a ticket to Beijing. Of the seven other participants, Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa.) and Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif.) recorded the fastest times in their respective qualifying events.

The endurance athletes contested a 3000-meter mass start test designed to select an automatic qualifier for the points race and madison events. Although three of the athletes surpassed the time standards, Lea met the automatic nomination criteria as the fastest. Lea clocked a time of 29.525 seconds over the race’s first 500 meters and finished with a 3000-meter time of 3:17.648. Both marks easily surpassed USA Cycling’s time standard of 30.670 seconds and 3:22.420 respectively.

Michael Friedman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Brad Huff (Fair Grove, Mo.) also met both time standards, but under USA Cycling’s Olympic Selection Procedures, only Lea met the criteria for an automatic nomination to compete in the points race and madison in Beijing as the fastest of the three over 3000 meters. Friedman rode a 30.359/3:24.229, while Huff rode a 30.466/3:21.740 to eclipse the time standards.

In two attempts, Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.) failed to finish under the time standard with 30.427/3:23.657 being the fastest of his two performances.

In the sprint events, Blatchford rode a 250-meter time trial in 17.973 seconds as the only athlete to meet the automatic time standard for the three-man team sprint squad. Giddeon Massie (Zionhill, Pa.) rode an 18.297 and Adam Duvendeck (Santa Barbara, Calif.) clocked an 18.791 – neither eclipsing the 18.010-second time standard.

Blatchford, Massie, Duvendeck and Lea also contested the flying 200-meter sprint with the hopes of earning an automatic nomination to contest the match sprint and keirin in Beijing. None of the four athletes met the 10.380-second time standard however. In two attempts, Blatchford’s fastest time was a 10.520. Massie’s 10.573 was his fastest, while Duvendeck recorded a 10.656 and Lea an 11.106 for their quickest marks.

This week’s selection camp put the Olympic track cycling squad into focus and illustrated the recent strides taken by a vastly improved national team program. With Phinney, Reed and Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif.) set to earn automatic nominations based on earlier performances in international competition this year, Lea and Blatchford are poised to join them by meeting the automatic nomination criteria over the last two days.

“The performances by our athletes over the course of these last couple of days are a good sign of things to come”, explained Pat McDonough, USA Cycling Director of Athletics. “The determination and intensity of the competition this week is indicative of how far our track program has come since 2004. To have five athletes meet demanding time standards less than two months from the Olympics means everyone is raising their game for when it matters the most.”

USA Cycling will announce the remaining discretionary selections to the track cycling squad on July 1.

2008 USA Cycling Team Selection Camp June 15-16 Carson, Calif.

Men’s 3km Mass Start Test:

Ride #1

Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa.) – 3:17.648 (500m – 29.525)*
Brad Huff (Fair Grove, Mo.) – 3:23.600 (500m – 29.609)
Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.) – 3:23.657 (500m – 30.427)
Michael Friedman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) – 3:24.229 (500m – 30.359)

Ride #2
Michael Friedman – 3:20.192 (500m – 30.377)*
Brad Huff – 3:21.740 (500m – 30.466)*
Colby Pearce – 3:24.860 (500m – 30.430)

Men’s Standing 250m Time Trial:
Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif.) 17.973*
Giddeon Massie (Zionhill, Pa.) 18.297
Adam Duvendeck (Santa Barbara, Calif.) 18.791

Men’s Flying 200m Time Trial:

Ride #1
Michael Blatchford 10.520
Giddeon Massie 10.573
Adam Duvendeck 10.656
Bobby Lea 11.106

Ride #2
Michael Blatchford 10.544
Giddeon Massie 10.574
Adam Duvendeck 10.698
Bobby Lea 11.122

Women’s Flying 200m Time Trial:
Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.) 11.497*

Women’s Flying 500m Time Trial:
Jennie Reed 29.662

Junior Men’s 3000m World Record Attempt:
Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) 3:16.589 (new world record)

*Automatic Time Standard