The UCI announced the rider quotas for the world road race championships in Qatar today, confirming that Germany will have just six places in the men’s elite road race, and awarding extra places to recent Olympic champions Anna van der Breggen, Fabian Cancellara and Kristin Armstrong but not elite men’s winner Greg van Avermaet of Belgium.
The quotas are calculated based on season-long points ranking system. Germany finished outside of the top ten in the nations ranking and so failed to secure a full allotment of riders despite having Andre Greipel, Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb as possible team leaders and race favourites. Greipel told the dpa news agency he would not be willing to share leadership with Kittel on a course that will favour the high speed sprinters.
"It would be counter-productive to go there with two captains," he said.
France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, Colombia, the Netherlands, Australia, Norway and Switzerland all finished in the top ten and so have been awarded a full team of nine riders for the elite men’s road race.
Like Germany, Canada and the USA have been awarded six places for the elite men’s road race. Slovakia has just three places as Peter Sagan tries to defend his world champion’s rainbow jersey.
The quotas for the elite women’s race are shared between 23 nations with teams awarded five, six or seven places. Great Britain can add an extra rider due to Lizzie Armitstead being the outgoing world champion, as can the Netherlands after Anna van der Breggen won the gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
Each nation can enter two riders in the time trial events, with Switzerland (Fabian Cancellara) and the USA (Kristin Armstrong) earning extra places after winning gold medals in the Olympics. Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus, Linda Villumsen of New Zealand and Mads Würtz of Denmark have all secured invitations as defending world champions. Other continental champions have also earned places for the different events and categories.
The UCI also confirmed the names of the teams invited to the trade team time trial race, confirming that all the WorldTour teams are obliged to ride as per UCI rules. The AIGCP teams association has threatened to boycott the team time trial because it feels the UCI has used an abuse of power to make them attend an event organised by the UCI. Other races often help the WorldTour teams with travel expenses but it appears that teams will have to fund a lot of their costs to attend the Qatar team tine trial event.