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Stevens a virtual lock for USA's London Olympics team
With no more women's races before the May 31 deadline to qualify nations for their Olympic Games spots, the UCI's nations rankings published yesterday are a good indication of which countries will send how many riders to London in July.
The top five nations in the women's rankings as of May 29 are The Netherlands, Germany, the United States of America, Italy and Great Britain. The top five countries will send four women for the road race. The men's road race and individual time trial places have already been awarded. Time trial athletes must take part in the road race as part of the assigned allocation.
The latest rankings also factor into the USA team selection. After winning La Flèche Wallonne and sitting seventh in the overall individual rankings, Evelyn Stevens is almost assured to be included in the USA team for London. The selection criteria include a World Cup win as a part of the selection criteria, but for only one athlete.
Sprinter Shelley Olds won a World Cup as well, the Tour of Chongming Island, but the USA Cycling selection procedure states that if more than one rider wins a World Cup, the highest ranked rider in the World Cup first, or UCI rankings next will determine who is given the nod.
Since Olds and Stevens are each at 75 points in the World Cup rankings, Stevens' seventh in the UCI rankings trumps Olds' 30th place.
The countries ranked sixth through 13th will be awarded three places, which should go to Sweden, Australia, Russia, Belgium, Canada, France, Brazil and South Africa.
Some countries with two slots, those ranked 14th-23rd will have one position removed if all of the countries with riders in the top 100 individual rankings don't already have an allocation by virtue of their position in the nations rankings.
Since there are 10 nations that meet the above criteria, all 10 of the countries ranked 14th through 23rd will have one position: Lithuania, New Zealand, Venezuela, Cuba, Luxembourg, Ukraine, China, El Salvador, Belarus and Norway.
Mexico, Thailand, Finland, Chinese Taipei, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Japan, Poland, Korea and Slovenia should be also added to the roster with one position each.
To fill out the 67-woman start list, Asian, African and American continental champions award positions for countries not already given a quota (Hong Kong, Mauritius and Chile, respectively).
|3||United States Of America||4|
|20||People's Republic of China||1|
|36||Hong Kong, China||1|
|63||Antigua and Barbuda|