Germany, Netherlands secure nine starters at worlds
While the elite men's road race world championship is still approximately one and a half months away on October 3, August 15 is a critical date for nations seeking to attain the coveted maximum allotment of nine starters for their respective world championship rosters.
The top 10 nations on the International Cycling Union (UCI) World Rankings on August 15 will be allowed to start nine riders in the Geelong, Australia-hosted world championships and today's Vattenfall Cyclassics, offering points for the top 10 finishers, proved critical for several nations on the top 10 bubble. Nations are ranked by totalling the World Rankings points of their top five riders.
The top seven nations on the World Rankings remained unchanged (Spain, Italy, Belgium, Australia, United States, Russia and Switzerland), but the Vattenfall Cyclassics results provided a shuffling of the nations ranked eighth through 12th.
André Greipel's third place finish vaulted Germany from 12th to eighth on the World Rankings and enabled his country to secure the maximum allowable roster for its world championship roster.
The Netherlands, 10th on the World Rankings prior to the Vattenfall Cyclassics, kept its spot in the top 10 due to the seventh place finish of Thomas Leezer (Rabobank). The Netherlands now occupies ninth place overall on the nation rankings.
Kazakhstan, ninth overall prior to the Hamburg ProTour event, did not score any points and dropped from eight to 10th place. Kazakhstan, however, will only be able to start six riders in the elite men's world championships because of a provision which states that a nation in the top 10 overall, but with fewer than six riders ranked, will start six riders instead of nine. Astana teammates Alexandre Vinokourov and Maxim Iglinsky are Kazakhstan's only ranked riders.
Luxembourg, ninth overall entering the August 15th deadline, also did not score any points and dropped out of the top 10 to 11th place on the World Rankings.
Slovenia, 11th on the World Rankings entering today, was hoping for a high finish by either Kristijan Koren (Liquigas-Doimo) or Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) to enable a move into the top 10, but neither were able to score points for their nation which dropped them one position to 12th.
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