World Championships team named as U.S. Paralympics Cycling prepares for road Para-cycling season finale
by Kristen Gowdy
Kyle Pitman (left) and CJ Howard compete at the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup in Elzach, Germany. (Photo: Casey Gibson)
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – U.S. Paralympics Cycling today announced the nine men and eight women selected to compete at the 2022 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships next month in Baie-Comeau, Quebec. World championship competition will be preceded by the road world cup season finale, also in Quebec.
Led by a host of Paralympic medalists, world champions and current world cup overall points leaders, Team USA will look to close out the road season on a high note before shifting focus to track world championships in October.
The roster was chosen based on results from the 2022 season, including the USA Cycling Para-cycling Road National Championships, which took place in Chattanooga, Tennessee, earlier this month.
“We are very excited about this team we’ve put together after an incredibly competitive weekend of racing in Chattanooga,” Ian Lawless, director of U.S. Paralympics Cycling, said. “We have the utmost confidence that every one of these athletes will perform to the best of their abilities in Quebec. Every one of them has the potential to become a world champion.”
Recently crowned the most decorated U.S. Winter Paralympian of all time after a historic showing at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky) made her return to her handcycle at nationals and won the women’s H5 time trial national championship en route to qualifying for worlds. Masters, who won double gold at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, is a 11-time world champion in Nordic skiing and is seeking her first world title in her summer sport.
A three-time Paralympic medalist in the women’s H3 classification, Alicia Dana (Putney, Vermont) was the only athlete to win three national titles in Chattanooga, sweeping her time trial, road race and handcycle relay competitions. Dana won the time trial at the World Cup in Germany earlier this season and is the favorite for the podium’s top step in Baie Comeau, thanks to a hilly course that suits the Vermont native. Newcomer Kate Brim (Lowell, Michigan) rounds out the women’s handcyclists and will make her world championships debut in the H2 classification.
In men’s handcycling, Paralympic medalists Ryan Pinney (Phoenix, Arizona) and Freddie De Los Santos (Hopewell Junction, New York) and Travis Gaertner (Burien, Washington) will suit up for Team USA. Pinney and De Los Santos, who compete in the MH3 and MH5 classifications, respectively, teamed up with Dana in Tokyo for bronze in the handcycle relay. Pinney earns his second world championships berth after coming back from an injury sustained in world cup competition earlier this season. This is De Los Santos’ fifth world championships team selection.
Gaertner, meanwhile, is a two-time Paralympic champion in wheelchair basketball and is the reigning MH4 world championships road race bronze medalist.
The only tricyclist to make the team, Dennis Connors (Portland, Oregon) will look to build on the three world cup medals – including two gold – he won in the MT2 races in Ostend and Elzach. He makes his second worlds roster after two national titles in Chattanooga.
Both current world cup points leaders in the C4 classifications, John Terrell (Converse, Texas) and Samantha Bosco (Claremont, California) headline a strong group of C1-5 athletes looking to make their mark in Canada. Terrell is enjoying a breakout season with three podiums in the first two world cups of the season in Ostend, Belgium, and Elzach, Germany. He makes his world championships debut.
Bosco went a perfect four-for-four in time trial and road races in Ostend and Elzach and has a shot at both the world cup overall title and multiple world champion rainbow jerseys in Quebec. The two-time Paralympic medalist’s 2022 campaign is made all the more impressive by the fact that she is coming back from a serious injury that kept her out of the Tokyo Games.
The 2020 Paralympic silver medalist and 2019 world champion in the MC1 time trial, Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Washington) utilized a dominant performance at nationals to secure his spot on the worlds team. It’ll be Keith’s 11th career world championships between the track and road disciplines.
Eight-time Paralympic medalist Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colorado) is set for her first international competition in more than four years after coming out of retirement this season. Jones qualified for the world cups earlier in the season, but was sidelined for health reasons. She bounced back with solid performances in the WC2 races at nationals to earn a chance to add onto her 22 career world championship medals.
Two-time Paralympic medalist Jamie Whitmore (Somerset, California) and two-time world champion Clara Brown (Falmouth, Maine) will represent Team USA in the WC3 classification. The dynamic duo has combined for a total of 26 world championship podiums, and each competes in both road and track cycling. On the MC3 side, Noah Middlestaedt (St. Cloud, Minnesota) makes his third world championships roster. His best finish was fourth in the road race at the 2019 competition.
National team member Kyle Pitman (Lafayette, Colorado), as well as CJ Howard (Sacramento, California) and Elizabeth Mis (Medina, Ohio) round out the bicyclists making the roster. It is the world championships debut for all three athletes, who all won national titles in Chattanooga. Pitman and Mis are C5 athletes, while Howard competes as a C4.
World championship competition runs from August 11-14 following the world cup races from August 4-7. Follow U.S. Paralympics Cycling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for Team USA coverage and updates.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.
U.S. Road World Championships Roster
Dennis Connors (MT2)
Freddie De Los Santos (MH5)
Travis Gaertner (MH4)
CJ Howard (MC4)
Aaron Keith (MC1)
Noah Middlestaedt (MC3)
Ryan Pinney (MH3)
Kyle Pitman (MC5)
John Terrell (MC4)
Samantha Bosco (WC4)
Kate Brim (WH2)
Clara Brown (WC3)
Alicia Dana (WH3)
Allison Jones (WC2)
Oksana Masters (WH5)
Elizabeth Mis (WC5)
Jamie Whitmore (WC3)