Photo by The Daily Courier .
PRESCOTT – Although an official announcement wasn’t expected until June 28, Prescott mountain biker Chloe Woodruff realized a dream on Thursday, June 23, qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team that will compete this summer in Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil.
No U.S. athletes earned automatic Olympic selections in mountain biking, but Woodruff and Lea Davison of Jericho, Vermont, earned discretionary selections on the 21-member U.S. team. In the latest cross-country mountain biking world rankings, Woodruff, 29, is rated at No. 28 and Davison, 33, comes in at No. 20. The Olympics will run from Aug. 5-21.
“It looks like I’m Rio-bound with #TeamUSA! Not sure what else to say at this time,” Woodruff wrote on her Facebook page early Thursday afternoon. “Unbelievably humbled, proud, and thankful at the same time. …Huge thanks to everyone that’s been a part of this journey over the years.”
Rising to fame locally as the two-time Whiskey Off-Road 50 Proof Pro Women’s mountain bike champion, Woodruff has lived and trained in Prescott for the past three years with her husband and men’s pro cyclist, T.J.
Over the last two-plus months, Woodruff has been crisscrossing continents, competing in World Cup races in an attempt to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Cross-Country Biking Team. In August, she will ride in Brazil with the U.S. team, which includes cyclists in different disciplines.
Earlier this year, Chloe had been a member of the U.S. mountain biking’s so-called “long team,” comprised of a group of seven Elite women’s cyclists selected from across the country to contend for two Olympic team spots.
Woodruff, a professional cyclist, is now sponsored by Stan’s NoTubes-Pivot, an affiliation which has strengthened her pro endeavors by allowing her to race full-time while training for the Olympics.
“It’s been a big part of allowing me to come into my own as a racer – kind of taking charge and putting together a team on our own terms,” Chloe said in April about her and TJ’s recent efforts. “We have more control over our schedule and the equipment that we use. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been worth it.”
Recently, Chloe qualified for the 2016 Mountain Bike World Championships in the Elite Women category, along with fellow Stan’s NoTubes teammate Rose Grant, who captured the 2016 Whiskey Off-Road Pro Women’s 50 Proof title in May. The World Championships are scheduled for June 28-July 3 in Nove Mesto na Morave in the Czech Republic.
To reach this point, from late March and into April, Chloe fared well at a few different big-time women’s pro races.
In that mix was the Pan American Continental Cross-Country Championships in Catamarca, Argentina, where she earned international racing points against a group of the world’s top competitors. Those points counted toward her Olympic bid.
At her first of three Cross-Country World Cup races April 23 and 24 in Cairns, Australia, each of which were used as qualifiers for the Olympics, Chloe finished just outside the Top 10 among a field of 60 to 80 elite riders. It marked her best finish at a World Cup to date.
“I need to be at my best at those races,” Chloe said in early April regarding the World Cups.
This article first published on dCourier.com at 3:45 p.m. Thursday.