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Elite American XC racer Haley Batten turned out a phenomenal performance on a mud-slicked course in Nové Město, scoring the second step on the podium in Sunday’s cross country race, following Friday’s short track win. Sunday’s silver gives Batten a berth to the Tokyo Olympics—USA Cycling’s qualification rules state a win in Nové Město is an automatic qualifier, and if an American doesn’t win, a 2nd-8th places secures an Olympic spot. French racer Loana Lecompte won the race—her second in a row after also reaching the top podium in Albstadt last week—and no other American women scored in the top 8.
Batten is one of six women on the Team USA Long Team vying for three potential Olympic spots. Scott-SRAM racer Kate Courtney already secured her Olympic bid with a 5th place in the 2019 World Champs. There is one more spot on the women’s team that Lea Davison, Erin Huck, Chloe Woodruff and Hannah Finchamp are all vying to nab.
Batten, who’s from Park City, Utah, and races for Specialized on the Trinity Racing team, is having a breakout year in her first racing Elites after a strong U23 career. This weekend’s performance comes on the heels of Batten’s third place at last week’s World Cup opener in Albstadt, Germany.
USA Cycling will nominate athletes to the U.S. Olympic Committee by June 4. Click here to read the qualifying rules. If you missed this weekend’s race in the Czech Republic, the replay is available on Red Bull TV.