FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USA Cycling announced today that Scott Smith (JAM/NCC/Vittoria) will represent the United States competing at Cyclocross World Championships in Belgium at the end of the month. Smith was selected for Team USA after finishing fourth on Sunday in the U23 Cyclocross National Championships in Asheville, N.C. He will accompany teammate Ellen Noble and 29 other U.S. athletes on the trip overseas.
"I'm really blown away with the news today," Smith said. "I had a tough block of training before nationals, getting sick and then messing up my hamstrings, but I gave it all I had to come away with fourth, just off the podium. Now my dreams are coming true, and I'm going across the pond to do what I love and race 'cross against the best in the world."
Coach Alec Donahue says the goal is to get Smith to experience Belgium and enjoy the process.
"This is my dream that it would happen," Donahue said. "Scott will get his feet wet in the U23 at Worlds where it's going to be insanely difficult. If he can finish on the lead lap, that's what we're looking for. And it's great for Ellen to have another teammate to be there."
Monday's announcement was an added boost for the JAM/NCC/Vittoria squad. Noble had already qualified for the World Championships with her 14th place finish at November's World Cup in Koksijde. She solidified her position after winning the women's U23 Cyclocross National Championship on Sunday.
Donahue says Noble and Smith's World's team qualifications are motivating for Jack Kisseberth, who also wishes he could join his teammates to Belgium. But he'll have to wait until next year. Still, Kisseberth was one of the big standouts in Sunday's elite men's race, finishing 11th place-- an amazing feat considering he was racing Cat 4 at the beginning of the previous cross season.
"For a second year riding cross, knocking on top ten at nationals, that was unexpected really," Donahue said. "Jack was the most surprising ride of the weekend for me. He knocked his front brake loose and it was just on. I think he was out there for two laps before he pitted, so the brake was just hanging on for two laps. To pull off 11th with that was even more remarkable."
Kisseberth returns home to Boston following a strong end to his cross race season. Smith and Noble are at training camp in Greenville this week and will head to Belgium on January 20. The World Cup is scheduled for Jan. 30-31 in Heusden-Zolder. They will stay in Belgium for five more races after Worlds.
(Photos by Vicky Sama)