56 nations up for Olympic Games

On Wednesday, the UCI has released the list of qualified nations for the Men's Elite events of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The distribution of places was done based on ProTour and Continental Circuits rankings, resulting in a list of 56 nations to battle out the Olympic titles next year.

Nine countries will see the maximum of five riders at the start of the road race in August next year, amongst them the traditional cycling nations: Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, Australia, Spain, the United States, the Netherlands and Russia. Great Britain, Norway, Slovenia and Ukraine will represented by four riders each.

There will also be 33 countries invited to send respectively one or two athletes to the Olympic time trial. These must be the same riders that had already been selected for the road race.

The distribution will evolve based on confirmations from the National Olympic Committees. The final re-awarding of places will be made between April and July 2008, with the awarding of places for the women's events scheduled for May 31, 2008.

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