Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It was a good effort Jeff!

This morning I read on VeloNews that they had selected the Olympic Teams. Unfortunately our local Pro Racer, Jeff Hall, didn't make it. Below are some highlights of the article:
USA Cycling named 21 of its 24 nominees to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team on Tuesday, including all 16 men’s athletes across the disciplines of road cycling, track cycling, mountain biking BMX.

The governing body also named five automatic women’s nominees across the four Olympic disciplines of cycling.

Of the 21 named on Tuesday, 12 earned automatic nominations under USA Cycling’s Olympic selection procedures, while nine other riders were nominated to the Olympic Team by a nine-person selection committee according to USA Cycling’s Principles of Discretion.

For the discipline of mountain biking, Todd Wells earned the only men’s automatic nomination, while Adam Craig was selected as a discretionary nomination to the two-man squad.

Wells automatically qualified by earning the highest cumulative placing in his best three 2008 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup events. Wells finished sixth at the World Cup in Vallnord, Andorra on May 31 to complement an 11th-place effort in the season opener in Houffalize, Belgium on April 20. He then finished 13th at the most recent contest in Fort William, Scotland on June 7. Wells’ sixth place finish in Andorra was the best result by a men’s American mountain bike athlete in World Cup competition this year.

As the discretionary selection, Craig was the only other American to record a top-ten finish in a World Cup race this season, placing eighth at the second round in Offenburg, Germany. Additionally, Craig was the only other U.S. rider to place in the top 20 of four World Cups this year, adding a 15th-place finish in Houffalize, and a pair of 16th-place efforts in Andorra and Fort William.

I'll admit that I didn't always keep the closest tabs on Jeff to see how he was managing at the races abroad, but I was holding out hope that someone I knew, someone I've met, someone who's lapped me in a race would be representing us in what is often referred to as the pinnalce of our sport. I helped where I could; I bought a bracelet - in fact it's still on my wrist as I type this. BCR organized a TT in his benefit and managed to donate some cash to help with any expenses in his journey to Beijing.

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It's too bad Jeff, I was pulling for you! I'm not sure what's in store for any future attempts for the Olympic Team, but I'm sure Jeff will keep busy with his family and cycling endeavors. Thanks to Jeff we had a great kids series in the MNSCS last year which helped grow the sport where it matters most.

It won't be the same following the Olmpics without Jeff, but I'm happy to have been a part of his attempt to make it to China.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it was a good try by a really nice guy. His results were beginning to improve towards the end too. In the end it was a pretty tall order, because they ended up only sending 3 guys on the X-C team to the big show. I was impressed in his dedication in going after the goal, and on a pretty low budget. Chasing the dream. Got to respect that.


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