Lea Davison, Howard Grotts and Chloe Woodruff will represent the United States in mountain bike at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August. Their selections were announced today by USA Cycling.
With no automatic selections earned in mountain biking, all three athletes were awarded discretionary selections. Two-time Olympian and reigning Olympic bronze medalist Georgia Gould, currently ranked No. 39 in the world but the fourth-ranked American on the list, was not named to the team after mounting a comeback in the wake of a brief retirement in 2014.
Davison, 33, is the only one of the three with Olympic experience and Team USA’s best shot at a medal in Rio. Davison’s impressive accomplishments include a bronze at the 2014 world championships and a world cup silver, earned last July in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Her world cup podium marked the best finish for a U.S. racer in five years. She and sister Sabra co-founded a non-profit girls’ mountain bike mentoring program called Little Bellas, which includes Sunday sessions and a two-week camp in Vermont. A two-time Olympian, Davison finished 11 at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Woodruff, 28, currently is ranked No. 28 in the world. She claimed both the short-track and cross-country national titles in 2015, logging her eighth national championship along the way. A two-time Under-23 national champion, she won a bronze medal at the American Continental Championships, held April 3 in Argentina and has three top-20 world cup finishes in the past year, including a best of 13th at the first stop of the 2016 series in Cairns, Australia.
Grotts, 23, is ranked 46th in the latest world rankings. Last summer he was able to wrest away the national title from three-time reigning champion Todd Wells just a month after the death of his brother, Don, whom he said was the reason he took up mountain biking. In 2014 he won bronze at the U-23 world championships. He followed that a strong showing on the U-23 world cup circuit in 2015, garnering a silver and a pair of bronze medals on the way to a third-place overall ranking in the series. He graduated summa cum laude from Fort Lewis College in his hometown of Durango, Colorado, where he won three NCAA mountain biking national championships.