OTTAWA -- Brooklin's Emily Batty and Oshawa's Catherine Vipond are on the short list provided by Cycling Canada for the Olympic selection pool in mountain bike.
The two local racers are among a group of seven women in contention for two spots to compete at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
Batty, 23, is the second-ranked Canadian and 10th in the world according to the latest International Cycling Union list, making her a favourite to be on the team when it is formally announced June 20.
Batty's fiance, Adam Morka of Toronto, is one of six men on the short list, also looking for two Olympic berths.
"The Canadian mountain bike program has developed significantly over the past four years," said Dan Proulx, head coach of the Canadian mountain bike team, in a press release. "We have exceptional riders on both the men's and women's side of the program. It's an exciting time for our sport with several riders set to continue Canada's rich tradition of success."
Canada is the top country in the world in female mountain bike, led by No. 1-ranked Catharine Pendrel of Kamloops, B.C., a virtual lock to be on the Olympic team.
Batty should have the inside edge on the second spot, although Quebec's Marie-HÃ©lÃ¨ne PrÃ©mont, ranked 20th in the world, is a two-time Olympian who won silver in Athens in 2004.
Vipond is the fifth-ranked Canadian female, 82nd in the world, while Morka is the sixth-ranked Canadian male, 134th in the world.
Collingwood's Amanda Sin, Trenton's Derek Zandstra and Toronto's Cameron Jette are the other Ontario athletes in contention.
The list of nominated athletes to the 2012 Canadian Olympic team will be announced on June 20 at the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec.