Kate Courtney
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USA Cycling names Olympic long team, finalists for Tokyo Games

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World champion Kate Courtney leads the finalists for the U.S. Olympic cycling team across the road, track and mountain events.

USA Cycling named its “long team” on Thursday in a live streamed announcement on its YouTube page featuring actor Patrick Dempsey and NBC Sports anchor Steve Schlanger. Most of the cyclists will ultimately make the Tokyo Olympic roster. The rest will be alternates. Nobody outside of the long team can go to the Olympics, according to USA Cycling.

The long team features world champions in Courtney, Chloe Dygert (the lone cyclist among the finalists who previously clinched an Olympic spot), Amber Neben, Jennifer Valente, Emma White and Lily Williams.

Courtney won the 2018 World title in mountain bike and eyes the first U.S. Olympic title in the discipline that debuted at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Dygert is a reigning world champion on the road and the track. Valente, White and Williams joined Dygert on a team pursuit squad that won a world title on Feb. 27. Neben won world road time trial titles in 2008 and 2016.

The men on the long team are led by Tour de France veteran Tejay van Garderen.

Van Garderen placed fifth in the Tour de France in 2012 and 2014, the best finish for an American at the three-week stage race since 2008. Van Garderen also has the top Tour de France finish for an American in this Olympic cycle — 32nd in 2018.

Van Garderen withdrew from Rio Olympic consideration due to Zika virus concerns four years ago, when his wife was pregnant with their second child,

The full Olympic long team for road, track and mountain events:

Road
Chloe Dygert
Krista Dobel-Hickock
Katharine Hall
Amber Neben
Coryn Rivera
Lauren Stephens
Leah Thomas
Taylor Wiles
Ruth Winder
Lawson Craddock
Ian Garrison
Alex Howes
Sepp Kuss
Brandon McNulty
Neilson Powless
Tejay van Garderen

Track
Christina Birch
Chloe Dygert
Maddie Godby
Megan Jastrab
Mandy Marquardt
Kendall Ryan
Jennifer Valente
Emma White
Lily Williams
Adrian Hegyvary
Daniel Holloway
Gavin Hoover

Mountain
Haley Batten
Kate Courtney
Lea Davison
Hannah Finchamp
Erin Huck
Chloe Woodruff
Christopher Blevins
Keegan Swenson

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MORE: Chloe Dygert wanted to be Prefontaine. Then Bird. Now, her coach.

World Alpine Skiing Championships on for 2021 after request to delay rejected

Alpine Skiing World Championships
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GENEVA (AP) — A request by the organizers of next year’s skiing world championships in Italy to postpone the event by one year was rejected Thursday by the International Ski Federation.

FIS ruled that the event will go ahead from Feb. 9-21, 2021, in Cortina d’Ampezzo — the highlight of an Alpine season that faces challenges to find safe protocols for international travel and attending races in Europe, North America and China.

The Veneto region of northern Italy was hit hard by the coronavirus and the season-ending World Cup races in Cortina in mid-March were canceled. That week-long event was to be a test for the 2021 worlds.

“The last month of efforts to come to this solution demonstrates the strong collaborative spirit of the ski family and stakeholders.” FIS president Gian-Franco Kasper said.

Organizers in Italy have said they expect losses of about 30 million euros ($34 million) if the worlds are also canceled. They asked for a postponement to March 2022, which would be only weeks after the Beijing Olympics.

“But we will be ready in any case and we will show that these world championships can change the history of a region despite the current difficulties,” Alessandro Benetton, president of the Cortina organizing committee, said in a statement.

Italian racer Sofia Goggia, the 2018 Olympic downhill champion, said she was “happy for Cortina because it will host the first major international event after the coronavirus epidemic.”

Cortina, which hosted the 1956 Olympics, will co-host the 2026 Winter Games with Milan and use the worlds as a showcase for the resort.

The women’s World Cup downhill on the Olympia delle Tofane course each January is one of the most scenic in the sport with a signature jump between tall outcrops of jagged rock.

The Dolomites venue was awarded the 2021 worlds by FIS after missing out as a candidate four straight times from 2013-19.

MORE: Anna Veith retires, leaves Austrian Alpine skiing in unfamiliar territory

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Russia track and field athlete clearance frozen due to unpaid fine

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MONACO (AP) — The program allowing Russian track athletes to compete internationally will be frozen because the country’s federation failed to pay a fine on time, World Athletics said Thursday.

The Russian track federation, known as RusAF, owes a $5 million fine and another $1.31 million in costs for various doping-related work and legal wrangles. World Athletics said RusAF missed Wednesday’s deadline to pay.

World Athletics said it would freeze the work of the Doping Review Board, which vets Russian athletes who want the “authorized neutral athlete” status that allows them to compete internationally, and its taskforce monitoring RusAF’s anti-doping reforms.

World Athletics said both bodies will be “put on hold” until its council meets to discuss the situation at the end of July.

“RusAF is letting its athletes down badly,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said in a statement. “We have done as much as we can to expedite our ANA process and support RusAF with its reinstatement plan, but seemingly to no avail.”

RusAF president Yevgeny Yurchenko earlier told the Tass state news agency that his federation’s finances were damaged by the coronavirus pandemic and that it had asked for more time to pay.

World Athletics’ statement didn’t directly address that issue, but said Russia hadn’t indicated when it would pay.

Russia was fined $10 million by World Athletics in March, with $5 million suspended for two years, after the federation admitted to breaking anti-doping rules and obstructing an investigation.

The Athletics Integrity Unit said fake documents were used under the previous management to give an athlete an alibi for missing a doping test.

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