Although the number of American start positions in track cycling at the 2004 Olympic Games will not be known until May 31, after the UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, once thing is fairly certain: the athletes representing the USA in Athens in this discipline will come from a core crop of talented riders.
Leading that crop on the men's side is the team sprint trio of Giddeon Massie ( Colorado Springs , Colo. ), Adam Duvendeck ( Colorado Springs , Colo. ) and Christian Stahl ( Bethany , Conn. ).
In the endurance events, Colby Pearce ( Boulder , Colo. ) is having a strong season and is currently ranked second overall in the World Cup standings in the scratch race, and seventh overall in the points race. His performances thus far, which include a gold medal in the scratch race at a World Cup in March, suggest that Pearce may be the strongest medal contender for the U.S. in men's track cycling.
Focusing on the team sprint in order to qualify the three sprinters for Athens , Stahl is the only one ranked in the World Cup standings in an individual event, currently 16th overall in the 1km time trial.
2000 Olympic men's sprint gold medalist Marty Nothstein ( Orefield , Pa. ) has made some significant changes since his memorable performance in Sydney . After the 2000 Games, Nothstein decided to give road cycling a try, dropped 40 pounds and signed a contact with the Navigators Professional Cycling Team.
After modest success in his first few years on the road, Nothstein took the biggest win of his career to date in the New York City Cycling Championships in 2003. Turning his focus back to the track in 2004, Nothstein has opted to try his hand at endurance events rather than the sprint events that brought him Olympic fame. Currently, Nothstein is focusing on the keirin event and is currently ranked 10 th overall in the World Cup standings after three events.
Jame Carney ( Boulder , Colo. ), an Olympian in 1992 and 2000, is looking to make his third Olympic Team. Currently his focus is on the Madison race where he would compete with Pearce as his teammate.
On the women's side, four women are competing for the three Olympic start spots available under UCI guidelines.
Erin Mirabella ( Kenosha , Wis. ) has enjoyed global success thus far in the endurance events, winning the points race at the World Cup in Mexico last March and placing fourth in the individual pursuit in all three World Cups to date. Her consistent performance currently makes her the top-ranked individual pursuit rider in the World Cup standings.
Sprinter Tanya Lindenmuth ( Trexlertown , Pa. ), a 2000 Olympian, is hoping to improve upon her sixth-place finish in the sprint at Sydney . Specializing in the 500m time trial and the sprint events, Lindenmuth has already been on the podium in a World Cup this year.
Jennie Reed ( Kirkland , Wash. ) has been by far the most consistent American track rider this season. With both gold and silver medals at World Cup events in the keirin this year, Reed has also placed fourth six times in World Cup events. But with the keirin not being on the Olympic program, Reed's ticket to Athens will likely depend upon her performance in the sprint at the final round of the World Cup and the World Championships later this spring.
Becky Quinn ( Quakertown , Pa. ) is the fourth rider competing for one of three spots. The endurance rider has been on the podium in the scratch race at a World Cup already this year against the world's best competition.