RT2012: MTB Euros Team Selected

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European Mountain Bike Championships Team Selected

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British Cycling has announced an eight rider team for the 2011 European Cross Country Championships to take place in Dohnany, Slovakia August 4-7.

Riders selected to represent Great Britain

Elite Men:
Oli Beckingsale

Elite Women:
Lee Craigie

Under-23 Women:
Annie Last

Junior Men
Grant Ferguson
Matt Sumpton

Junior Women
Bethany Crumpton
Katy Winton

In line with the aims of British Cycling's Performance Programmes - and as discussed earlier this year - a senior team has been selected representative of an Olympic cycle within one year of the Games - Elite and Under-23 riders chosen with the express aim of scoring UCI points to qualify at least one male and one female place for 2012.

Available riders who look likely to be Britain's top three UCI points scorers for the second year of qualification are all represented in the selection - Oli Beckingsale, Lee Craigie and Annie Last.

British Cycling Olympic Academy athlete Dave Fletcher - Britain's third-placed men's point scorer - is currently recovering from a broken wrist and will not race under-23 men, while British Cycling Olympic Podium athlete Liam Killeen has been approved to miss the European Championships in favour of a specific World Championships build-up, set to include the final rounds of the World Cup. This block of three races represent a significant opportunity to score UCI points, with the World Championships the highest individual point-scoring event of 2011.

British Cycling Academy athlete Annie Last - Britain's best female UCI point scorer - will race the under-23 category for the first time in 2011, having raced up a category in the elite women's UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. British Cyling Academy athlete Lily Matthews is still recovering from an injury sustained earlier in the season and will not race, with Lee Craigie - third at the British Championships - looking to score UCI points in the Elite women's race. Nikki Harris - who won two rounds of the British XC Series and placed second at the British Championships declined an invitation to race the European Championships, instead returning to her preparations for the cyclo-cross season.

No team will be entered for the Relay event as it does not carry UCI points.

With a consideration of young athlete development and the 2016 Olympic Games, a strong Junior team of four riders has been selected. Each rider has proven results on the international circuit in 2011 and are strong prospects for the future.

British Cycling Olympic Development athlete Grant Ferguson returns from a period of training and racing on the road to complete his season with a series of mountain bike events, starting at the European Championships and joined by British Champion Matt Sumption.

Beth Crumpton and British Cycling Olympic Development athlete Katy Winton have both scored top-five World Cup finishes in 2011 and will represent Great Britain in the Junior women's event.

British Cycling will have complete coverage of the 2011 European Championships from within the team camp from August 2.