Four Durango-based cyclists are spinning along with Olympic hopes alive and well.
The four cyclists two road cyclists and two mountain bikers recently were named to the final pool of cyclists for the U.S. Olympic Team that will compete in London next summer.
Thirteen women were nominated to the U.S. Olympic long team for road biking, according to VeloNews.com. The final Olympic selections will be made from the pool of 13.
The 13 women include Carmen Small and Kristin McGrath, both of Durango. Both are former standout athletes at Durango High School. And both played college sports before transitioning into professional cycling.
Small, with Team TIBCO, currently is training in Europe after a season packed with international road races. She was the setter on Durango High Schools 1996 state championship volleyball team before moving on to play college volleyball.
Small was a professional triathlete before turning to the bike full time. She also raced last year as a member of a U.S. select womens team for a series of races in Europe.
McGrath, with Team Exergy Twenty12, posted top domestic and international results this year.
A former two-sport NCAA Division I athlete at the University of Tennessee (soccer and swimming), McGrath was nominated based on her results and her Olympic potential.
The womens road nominations were led by Amber Neben of Irvine, Calif., who went to the Beijing Olympics and is the reigning world time trial champion.
Evelyn Stevens of Dennis, Mass., also was nominated after winning the 2011 national championship.
Kristin Armstrong of Boise, Idaho, the gold medalist in the 2008 Olympic time trial, also was among the nominated.
Amanda Miller of Fort Collins also was named to the long team for the London Olympics.
In mountain biking, two more Durango-based riders were named to the Olympic qualifying team Olympic veteran Todd Wells and Willow Koerber Rockwell.
Eight men and nine women were selected to the long team in advance of the London Olympics.
Wells, a two-time Olympian for the United States, will be bidding for his third Olympic Games. Hes coming off his most successful season as a racing pro. Hes also the reigning U.S. national cross country champion.
Wells finished seventh at the 2011 World Championships.
Wells was an automatic qualifier to the long team along with Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski of Boulder, Sam Schultz of Missoula, Mont., Adam Craig of Bend, Ore., and Jeremiah Bishop of Harrisonburg, Va.
Other nominations are Michael Broderick of Chilmark, Mass., Stephen Ettinger of Cashmere, Wash., and Spencer Paxson of Seattle.
On the womens side, Koerber Rockwell was nominated along with an elite field that included Georgia Gould of Fort Collins (a 2008 mountain bike Olympian), Mary McConneloug of Fairfax, Calif., (a 2004 and 2008 mountain bike Olympian), Heather Irmiger of Boulder, Katie Compton of Colorado Springs and Lea Davison of Jericho, Vt.
Another Colorado rider, Judy Freeman of Brighton, also made the long list.
The final mountain bike team will be announced in June, according to VeloNews.com.
The womens mountain bike races at the Olympics are scheduled for Aug. 11, 2012, at Hadleight Farm in Essex. The men will race the following day at Essex.