Vermonter Lea Davidson punches her Rio 2016 ticket

Lea Davidson is going to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Yesterday, USA Cycling announced its selections for mountain bike in the 2016 Rio Olympics, naming the Jericho, Vt. native along with Chloe Woodruff of Prescott, Az. and Howard Grotts of Durango, Co. The three mountain bikers are part of a team of 21 cyclists.

Photo courtesy USA Cycling
Photo courtesy USA Cycling

At 33, Davison is the only one of the three with Olympic experience. A two-time Olympian, Davison finished 11 at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Davison’s career highlights include a bronze at the 2014 world championships and a world cup silver, earned last July in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Her world cup podium marked the best finish for a U.S. racer in five years. Other career highlights include fifth at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 2012, 10th at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, and 1st, 2nd and 8th place finishes in events at the 2011 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships.

She is a 2005 graduate of Middlebury College, where she majored in environmental studies and competed on the alpine ski team. She and sister Sabra co-founded a non-profit girls’ mountain bike mentoring program called Little Bellas, which includes Sunday sessions and a two-week camp in Vermont.

Following the announcement, Davidson took to Twitter:

She joins two other experienced cyclists Woodruff and Grotts. Woodruff, 28, is currently ranked 28 in the world. Last year, she claimed national titles in both short-track and cross-country and tallied her eighth national championship. A two-time Under-23 national champion, she won a bronze medal at the American Continental Championships, held in Argentina in April and has three top-20 world cup finishes in the past year, including 13th at the first stop of the 2016 series in Cairns, Australia.

Grotts, who is 23, has also seen recent success. In 2014, he won bronze at the U-23 world championships and followed that performance with a strong showing at the U-23 world cup in 2015, taking a silver and a pair of bronze medals on the way to a third place overall finish. He also nabbed the national title from three-time champion Todd Wells. He is ranked 46th in the latest world standings.

Evan Johnson

Evan Johnson is the staff writer for Vermont Sports Magazine. The native Vermonter enjoys steep and deep skiing and wandering all over the state by Subaru. Find him on Twitter at @evanisathome.