Two more World Cups to determine Olympic MTB participation

Nations Olympic rankings as of May 1, 2012

In just a few weeks, mountain bike fans will know exactly how many athletes each nation will send to the 2012 London Olympic Games. What happens in the meantime are two back-to-back UCI Mountain Bike World Cups, one in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic on May 11-13 and one in La Bresse, France on May 18-20.

On May 23, 2012, the UCI will establish the UCI Olympic Qualification Ranking, and by June 1, it will have confirmed the number of qualifying spots for each nation.

The final rankings are based the total number of points a nation has for the combined periods of 2010-2011 as of May 23, 2011 and 2011-2012 as of May 23, 2012.

Men

For the men, the top five ranked nations will send three athletes each while nations ranked sixth through 13th will send two athletes each. Nations number 14 through 24 get one rider each.

Here is how it looks as of May 1:

Countries likely to send three male mountain bikers
Switzerland
France
Czech Republic
Germany
Spain

Countries likely to send two male mountain bikers
Italy
Netherlands
Austria
Poland
Belgium
South Africa
United States
Canada

Countries likely to send one male mountain biker
Australia
Japan
Great Britain
Sweden
Argentina
Brazil
Hungary
Russia
Denmark
Portugal
Cyprus

The five top-ranked powerhouse nations are no surprise and are not too likely to change. The division between sending one and two male riders is much tighter with just 200 points separating Canada (sending two as of current rankings) and Australia (sending one as of current rankings).

Countries like New Zealand are not too far below the cut-off for sending one rider, but if they do not qualify by this primary criterion, they may be able to send a rider by a second qualifying criterion. If a nation does not already qualify athletes via the aforementioned international rankings system, it can send one male athlete each if it is in the top two ranked nations in the continental regions of Africa, American, Asia or Oceania.

Women

For the women, the top eight ranked nations get to send two riders each while those ranked ninth through 18th send one each.

Here is how the women's standings look as of May 1:

Countries likely to send two female mountain bikers
Canada
France
Switzerland
Poland
Slovenia
Norway
Germany
United States

Countries likely to send one female mountain biker
Russia
Czech Republic
Italy
New Zealand
Ukraine
Austria
Great Britain
Sweden
Netherlands
Denmark

In the women's rankings most of the powerhouse mountain bike countries are ranked about where expected although Australia and Spain are not qualified as per current nations rankings per criterion one. However, per criterion two, the top ranked nation, not qualified by virtue of nations rankings above may send one female rider each if ranked first in Africa, American, Asia or Oceania.

The United States women have reason to be nervous about whether they will get to send one or two women to London. They sit perched just on the two-women side of the cut-off currently, but places sixth through ninth in the rankings are all within 500 points of each other.

What happens next

Once the nations rankings are finalized, countries have until June 15, 2012 to confirm they will use all earned spots and if there are any unused spots, they will get re-allocated on June 29, 2012. Entries are due to the London 2012 Organising Committee by July 2, 2012.

Complete nations rankings as of May 1, 2012 are below.  See also the Cyclingnews guide to Olympic Mountain Biking.

Nations Rankings as of May 1

Elite men nations ranking as of May 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Switzerland4987 pts
2France4659 
3Czech Republic4139 
4Germany3347 
5Spain3223 
6Italy2750 
7Netherlands2418 
8Austria2090 
9Poland1912 
10Belgium1888 
11South Africa1826 
12United States1797 
13Canada1754 
14Australia1554 
15Japan1342 
16Great Britain1329 
17Sweden1239 
18Argentina1129 
19Brazil1092 
20Hungary1038 
21Russia1023 
22Denmark1002 
23Portugal948 
24Cyprus894 
25Ukraine879 
26New Zealand826 
27Greece780 
28Turkey660 
29Norway654 
30Chile604 
31Finland578 
32Estonia562 
33Slovakia554 
34Israel520 
35Colombia503 
36Iran471 
37Serbia465 
38Mexico457 
39Costa Rica438 
40Kazakhstan391 
41Slovenia342 
42Namibia310 
43Venezuela308 
44Malaysia306 
45China295 
46Ireland294 
47Latvia288 
48Hong Kong, China286 
49Puerto Rico285 
50Croatia281 
51Romania278 
52Georgia275 
53Lesotho273 
54Zimbabwe270 
55El Salvador270 
56Bulgaria220 
57Indonesia220 
58Thailand135 
59Korea60 
60Brunei Darussalam60 
61Guam55 
62Guatemala47 
63Ecuador28 
64Nepal24 
65Bolivia22 
66Singapore21 
67Chinese Taipei17 
68Lebanon12 
69Mongolia2 
70Belarus1 
Elite women's nations ranking as of May 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Canada4480 pts
2France4091 
3Switzerland3745 
4Poland3230 
5Slovenia3101 
6Norway2989 
7Germany2791 
8United States2572 
9Russia2513 
10Czech Republic2374 
11Italy2267 
12New Zealand2209 
13Ukraine2016 
14Austria2013 
15Great Britain1907 
16Sweden1796 
17Netherlands1765 
18Denmark1696 
19Hungary1489 
20Australia1230 
21Spain1184 
22Turkey1107 
23Japan957 
24Slovakia873 
25Mexico799 
26Brazil760 
27Argentina686 
28Israel666 
29Estonia584 
30Chile573 
31Belgium561 
32China550 
33South Africa549 
34Portugal546 
35Serbia544 
36Colombia535 
37Costa Rica488 
38Finland414 
39Malaysia405 
40Cyprus402 
41Venezuela326 
42Ireland317 
43Puerto Rico300 
44Latvia292 
45El Salvador270 
46Greece270 
47Croatia269 
48Namibia200 
49Ecuador179 
50Zimbabwe110 
51Lesotho110 
52Bulgaria110 
53Korea105 
54Vietnam85 
55Chinese Taipei75 
56Thailand60 
57Dominican Republic45 
58Nepal45 
59Romania38 
60Malta25 
61Lithuania12 

 

Author: Cycling News

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