USA Cycling has announced the withdrawal of Chloe Woodruff from the USA MTB Olympic team. In a statement released to the press, the organization said the rider had resigned from the team for personal reasons.
The US national champion came 14th in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and had been expected to ride in Tokyo along with fellow team members Kate Courtney and Haley Batten. Both Courtney and Batten had been selected for the games based on their results, Woodruff had been selected for the third spot by a USA Cycling Committee.
There is some controversy surrounding the selection process. Erin Huck had been involved in the Olympics long team and was said to be heartbroken when Chloe Woodruff was selected ahead of her. The exact events behind Woodruff’s resignation are unknown, but insiders have said there was an arbitration process. It is not known if Woddruff’s resignation occurred during or after the process.
Speaking to Associated Press an anonymous source has said the final selection choice was so close, it had led to the arbitration process. The source reportedly spoke to AP on the condition of anonymity due to the close door nature of the arbitration process.
In a now redacted Instagram post, Allen Krughoff a filmmaker and photographer said –
“Arbitrator agreed that the selection committee didn’t follow their own protocol, leaving Erin off the team, and sent the decision back to the selection committee to re-evaluate. Prop to Erin for sticking up for what she felt was a deserved spot on the team.”
USA Cycling has denied that this version of events is true. In one message regarding the post, they noted that the information that Allen gave was incorrect. They did confirm that there was an arbitration process underway, but this had no bearing on Chloe’s decision to resign, which they said had been made for purely personal reasons.
Erin Huck – A brief History
Erin Huck began racing Mountain Bikes relatively late in life. The 40-year-old who is based in Tucson, Arizona began racing in her late twenties. She developed her skills in recreational racing whilst working as an engineering program manager. After a strong showing at the US National Championships she was awarded a discretionary spot on the US World Championship Team.
Over the last decade, she has been one of the most prominent pro-riders in the US, consistently finishing in the top twenty in international events.
Over the past few years, she has worked closely with the other members of the Olympic Long Team to ensure that the US earned enough UCI points to earn a third Olympic women’s spot. She was initially devasted to have missed securing the spot for herself and has now expressed her delight in “fulfilling my dream.”