Team Columbia is sending a total of 18 riders from 12 different nations to the Olympic Games this week-end. But what is said to be a "remarkable" international line-up actually caused problems to the team. "To have so many riders representing their countries at the Olympics, a showcase event, is truly exceptional for Team Columbia. It's actually made it a little tricky finding riders for all the usual competitions," said team owner Bob Stapleton.
Starting this Saturday with the men's road-race, riders from veteran George Hincapie of the USA to young Gerald Ciolek from Germany will be on participating in the greatest sporting event on the planet. Some such as Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain and Judith Arndt of Germany are already medal winners in the Olympics, others like Michael Barry - a participant in the 1996 Games in Atlanta - will be racing in their third Olympics in 12 years, whilst yet others like Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway are taking part in the Games for the first time.
Of the eighteen Columbia riders, there will be three each racing for Australia, Great Britain and Germany, with the other nine representing Belarus, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the USA respectively.
The 2008 Olympic Games team Columbia riders are:
Australia: Michael Rogers (Road), Kate Bates (Road), Oenone Wood (Road)
Belarus: Kanstantsin Siutsou (Road)
Canada: Michael Barry (Road)
Denmark: Linda Villumsen (Road)
Germany: Gerald Ciolek (Road), Bert Grabsch (Road), Judith Arndt (Road)
Great Britain: Mark Cavendish (Track), Roger Hammond (Road), Bradley Wiggins (Track)
Luxembourg: Kim Kirchen (Road)
Netherlands: Chantal Beltman (Road)
New Zealand: Greg Henderson (Track)
Norway: Edvald Boasson Hagen (Road)
Sweden: Thomas Lövkvist (Road)
USA: George Hincapie (Road)