- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) - Forty-four athletes will represent the United States at the Union Cycliste Internationale Mountain Bike World Championships next month in Australia.

The Durango Herald reports (https://bit.ly/2fJElxA ) six of those athletes are either from Durango or have ties to the area through Fort Lewis College.

The USA team will be headlined by three-time defending cross-country mountain bike national champion and Durango native Howard Grotts.

Grotts, who represented the U.S. at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, will be joined on the men’s elite team by Utah’s Keegan Swenson, a former Fort Lewis College athlete.

The men’s elite team will be rounded out by another Durango native and Fort Lewis College alumnus Payson McElveen, the marathon national champion.

Durango’s Christopher Blevins will lead the men’s 23-and-under team.

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