Stephen Ettinger

Stephen Ettinger will lead the charge for Team USA Cycling at the 2016 MTB World Championships. (CanadianCyclist)

Stephen Ettinger and Lea Davidson will lead team USA Cycling’s 19-rider squad for the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Nove Mestro, Czech Republic.

Four men will compete in the elite men’s cross country event on Sunday, July 3, with seven women selected for the elite women’s race one day prior. Todd Wells (SRAM-Troy Lee Designs) declined his automatic nomination for the Worlds.

The 27 year-old Ettinger is currently the best ranked American male cyclist, followed by 23-year-old Howard Grotts, in his first season in the professional ranks. Ettinger and Grotts are the best hopes for a medal in the men’s race. Russell Finsterwald (SRAM-Troy Lee Designs Racing Team) and Spencer Paxson (Kona Bicycles Factory Team) complete the four-man team. Ettinger was the best-placed American at last year’s Worlds in 36th place.

Lea Davidson will take the lead in the women's category at the 2016 MTB World Championships. (CanadianCyclist)

Lea Davidson will take the lead in the women’s category at the 2016 MTB World Championships. (CanadianCyclist)

Lea Davison (Specialized Factory Racing), who is currently ranked 20 in the world cross-country standings, recently cracked the top-10 at the Albstadt World Cup round and will be looking to better her 10th place from the 2015 Worlds in Andorra. The 33-year-old was top-10 in all World Cup races she started in 2015 but is yet to replicate her run of results in 2016.

Georgia Gould (LUNA Pro Team) and Chloe Woodruff (Stan’s NoTubes-Pivot) have been top-20 in the first World Cup rounds of the 2016 season and will be looking for a high finish in the Czech Republic.

The 2016 UCI MTB World Championships will be held in Nove Mestro, Czech Republic, from June 28 to July 3.

USA Cycling for 2016 UCI MTB World Championships 

Elite Men
Stephen Ettinger (Ridebiker p/b Focus)
Russell Finsterwald (SRAM-Troy Lee Designs Racing Team)
Howard Grotts (Specialized Racing)
Spencer Paxson (Kona Bicycles Factory Team)

Elite Women
Larissa Connors (TWENTY16 Pro Cycling)
Lea Davison (Specialized Factory Racing)
Georgia Gould (LUNA Pro Team)
Rose Grant
Erin Huck (SCOTT 3 ROX)
Mary McConneloug (Team KENDA-Intense)
Chloe Woodruff (Stan’s NoTubes-Pivot)

U23 Men
Keegan Swenson (Cannondale-360fly p/b Sugoi)

U23 Women
Kate Courtney (Specialized Factory Racing)

Junior Men
Christopher Blevins (Whole Athlete/Specialized)
Matthew Tracy-Cook (Bear Development Team)

Junior Women
Rachel Anders (Summit-Competitive Cyclist)
Haley Batten (LUNA Pro Team)
Kelsey Urban (Whole Athlete-Specialized Cycling Team)

Source: Cycling News