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Shawn Cheshire (left) and Mackenzie Woodring

Just days before the team left for RIO, U.S. Paralympics announced tandem cyclists Mackenzie Woodring and Shawn Cheshire will join the squad for the 2016 Games after all.

Despite meeting the U.S. team’s selection criteria months ago, “Mac & Cheese” were initially left out of the Games due to International Paralympic Committee limits on the number of athletes each country is allowed to enter.

U.S. Paralympics announced on Saturday that an additional 22 Americans would be among the 267 athletes who will replace suspended Russian athletes at the RIO Paralympics.

“There are no words….feeling thankful and determined,” Cheshire said in a Facebook post Saturday, shortly after the announcement.

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Shawn Cheshire (left) and Mackenzie Woodring

By Monday, the duo was in California for a mini-training camp before leaving for RIO.

Woodring, from Lowell, is a Paralympic veteran who won a pair of Golds in Beijing. Cheshire, a blind athlete from Camillus, N.Y., is making her Paralympic debut.

The duo swept the time trial and road race at USA Cycling’s Paracyling National Championships in June, then scorched the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Time Trial in July. The two have won 9 straight national championships together.

Paralympic road cycling events are scheduled for Sept. 14-17.

Allie-Dragoo

Allie Dragoo

Grand Rapids’ Allie Dragoo made her debut in USA Cycling’s 2016 Pro Road Tour standings with a pair of Top 10 finishes at the Cascade Cycling Classic and Twenty16-Ridebiker and team leader Kristin Armstrong both jumped up to 3rd.

Dragoo earned 31 points with 5th in the Stage 2 time trial and 6th on GC in the 5-stage Classic July 20-24 in Bend, Ore. Dragoo debuts at 48th among the 108 women in the PRT rankings.

Dragoo’s Twenty16 team and RIO-bound team leader Armstrong both jumped into 3rd in the latest PRT rankings with dominating performances in Bend. Twenty16 won the team GC by more than 10 minutes and Armstrong powered two spots up the GC on the final stage to finish second on GC.

Walker’s Maddy Frank, 16, Michigan’s top-ranked cross country mountain bike racer, finished 11th in both the long and short course cross country races earlier this month at USA Cycling’s Mountain Bike Nationals in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

Frank, riding for the Freewheeler Bike Shop, opened with 11th in the Women’s Junior 15-16, Cat. 1-2 long course cross country race on Day 3 of the 5-day event held July 13-17 at the Mammoth Mountain ski area.

Frank finished in 1:22:53, just out of the top 10.

Frank came right back the next day with 11th in the short course XC race, finishing in 15:15.4.

Allie Dragoo’s team Twenty16-Ridebiker p/b Sho-Air blew the field away Sunday in the finale of the Cascade Cycling Classic.

Dragoo finished 6th on GC on a day that saw Twenty16’s 2016 Olympian Kristin Armstrong team up with race leader Tara Whitten and ride their rivals off their wheels.CyclingIcon

Whitten won the stage to take home the overall win in the 5-stage race. Armstrong chased Whitten across the line 12 seconds later to take second on the stage and jump from 4th to second in the final GC, 1:05 behind the winner.

Armstrong’s 2016 teammate Alison Jackson was third on the stage 1:48 behind.

Three Twenty16 teammates joined Dragoo and Armstrong in the final Top 8 on GC, giving the squad the team title by over 10 minutes.

Carmen Small of Cylance Pro Cycling, who had been shadowing Whitten since losing the leader’s jersey after the Stage 2 time trial drifted back into the field and lost 2 minutes on Sunday to finish 3rd on GC, 2:31 behind Whitten.

Allie-Dragoo

Allie Dragoo

Allie Dragoo and team Tweny16-Ridebiker p/b Sho-Air will be racing to cement a podium spot for Leah Thomas and sew up the win in the team GC in today’s Awbrey Butte Circuit race finale at the Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Ore.

There was little change in the standings after yesterday’s 50-minute Downtown Bend Criterium, leaving powerhouse Twenty16 with five riders in the Top 8 of the GC.

It’s a strong showing sure to move the team up in USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour standings and in the UCI points race.

Expect attacks from the start in today’s 49-mile circuit race on the fast, flat 16.3-mile course in Bend that’s a close copy of the one Dragoo lit up in the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic in June.

Dragoo is 6th on GC, 1:36 behind Cyclery-Opus’ Tara Whitten who has held the leader’s jersey since the Stage 2 time trial. Cyclance Pro Cycling’s Carmen Small is 2nd, 21 seconds back and Dragoo’s teammate Leah Thomas is 3rd 42 seconds off the lead. Twenty16’s 2016 Olympian Kristin Armstrong is 4th 49 seconds back.

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