2016 U.S. Paralympics Cycling National Team announced

By Brianna Tammaro | Dec. 17, 2015, 8:30 a.m. (ET)
Joe Berenyi is one of five reigning world champions and nine Paralympians returning to the national team for the 2016 season.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, named the 27 athletes, including one tandem pilot, to the 2016 U.S. Paralympics Cycling National Team. The U.S. roster boasts nine Paralympians and five reigning world champions returning to the team.

“The national team is an extremely well-rounded group with numerous world champions, world cup medalists, Paralympians and classes represented,” said Ian Lawless, high performance director of U.S. Paralympics Cycling. “Our focus is on Rio and looking at this experienced roster, I fully expect to see several of these athletes on the Paralympic podium in 2016.”

Making their return to the national team are five athletes who captured world titles in 2015: Joe Berenyi (Oswego, Illinois), Shawn Morelli (Leavenworth, Kansas), Greta Neimanas (Chicago, Illinois), Jill Walsh (Syracuse, New York) and Jamie Whitmore (Mount Aukum, California).

Team USA showcased one of their strongest seasons in 2015, capturing 18 medals to finish second in the medal count at July’s UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland. On the track, the team won 12 medals in March’s world championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands to place third in the medal standings. Whitmore led the U.S. with three world crowns in the time trial, road race and 500-meter time trial. Her world titles helped Team USA women climb to the top of the UCI overall rankings for the 2015 track and road seasons.

Highlighting the team are nine athletes who have competed in Paralympic Games spanning from 2004 to 2012, including seven-time Paralympian Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colorado). The next ten months will set the stage for the biggest of all, the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in September.

To open the 2016 season, Team USA will travel to Los Angeles for the U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling Open, February 5-7. The UCI event will serve as a selection event for the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, March 12-21, in Montichiarri, Italy and the 2016 Games. 

2015 U.S. Paralympics Cycling National Team

*Denotes U.S. Paralympians

Athlete Hometown Classification
*Joe Berenyi 
Oswego, Ill.
Matt Bigos Cardiff by the Sea, Calif. MC1
*Alicia Dana Putney, Vt. WH3
Ryan Boyle
Monroe, Conn. MT2
Jonathan Copsey Carmel Valley, Calif. MC4
Tom Davis Army/Freemont, Ind.
*Megan Fisher Missoula, Mont. WC4
*Will Groulx Navy/Portland, Ore.
Samantha Heinrich Spring Hill, Fla. WC5
*Allison Jones Colorado Springs, Colo. WC2
Aaron Keith Woodinville, Wash.
Todd Key Scottsdale, Ariz. MC2
Will Lachenauer Reno, Nev.
Scott Martin Marine Corps/Oceanside, Calif. MC4
Shawn Morelli Leavenworth, Kans. WC4
Christopher Murphy Alta Loma, Calif. MC5
*Greta Neimanas Chicago, Ill. WC5
*Steven Peace Navy/San Diego, Calif.
*Oz Sanchez Marine Corps/San Diego, Calif. MH5
Freddie de los Santos Army/Hopewell Junction, N.Y. MH5
Aaron Scheides Farmington, Mich.
MB - stoker
Benjamin Collins Chicago, Ill.
MB - pilot
*Jennifer Schuble Army/Birmingham, Ala.
Brian Sheridan Clarkston, Mich. MH2
*Matt Updike Denver, Colo. MH3
Jill Walsh Syracuse, N.Y. WT2
Jamie Whitmore Mount Aukum, Calif. WC3