The U.S. Cycling Federation has just announced its four riders for the Paris Olympics in the mountain bike event and there’s a surprise. Savilia Blunk and Riley Amos will make their Olympic debut while Haley Batten and Christopher Blevins will lead the team.

With this selection the United States is betting on bringing a combination of youth and experience, with Haley Batten (26) and Savilia Blunk (25) for the women’s event and Chris Blevins (26) and Riley Amos (22) in the men’s, but leaving out 29-year-old former world champion Kate Courtney. Despite not having had a great continuity during the Olympic selection period, the truth is that Courtney has been the one who has achieved the most points for her National Team during the qualification.

For their part, Batten and Blunk are having a promising start to the 2024 season with Batten’s wins at the Araxa World Cup and Blunk’s podium finishes at the Araxa and Mairipora World Cup events.

“My Olympic journey has been an incredible journey. Through injuries, personal growth and relentless hard work, I am proud to earn my place to represent my country in Paris,” Batten was saying after learning of her selection.

“Competing in the Olympics is something I have dreamed of since my first career in the NorCal NICA league. When I was 15 years old, this dream felt almost inconceivable. I knew it would take a lot of hard work, but what was even harder to find in the process was the team support, resources and funding to make it to the biggest stage,” explained Blunk.

In the men’s category, Blevins is a sure bet after winning the Short Track World Cup in 2021 or more recently winning the Mairipora XCO World Cup.

“The magnitude of the Olympics is one of the most special things you can experience as an athlete. Being part of Team USA is a celebration that extends beyond yourself, and there’s a whole team doing their best in the sport we love.”

“I was proud to have been at Tokyo 2021, and now, maybe even more so to be at my second Olympic Games, with the opportunity to give it my all for a medal on July 29 in Paris. Mountain biking is growing at an exciting pace in the United States, and I know these Games will be another step in that direction,” said Blevins.

Amos is dominating the Under-23 category at the World Cup and was another of the almost certain riders for the National Team, although he still doesn’t seem to believe it. “I don’t think I’ve realized yet that I’m going to represent my country in Paris this summer. I think when I feel the atmosphere and experience it for the first time, it will sink in,” he explained.

Source: Federación Estados Unidos de Ciclismo