The US has secured the maximum number of four spots, and Great Britain with three, for the women's road events at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The UCI announced on Wednesday the list of 38 national teams, along with the quotas of athletes for each, for the women's road cycling events. The road races will be held on August 6 and 7 in Fort Copacabana, and the time trials will be held on August 10 in Pontal-Barra.
The quotas include the number of spots for the road race, a maximum of four, and the number of spots for the time trial, a maximum of two. However, the riders who compete in the time trial must also compete in the road race.
The US is allotted four athletes for the road race and two for the time trial. The national federation has not yet announced the team they will be sending to Rio, and the only rider with an automatic spot is US road champion Megan Guarnier, who secured her place after medalling at the World Championships in Richmond last September. She told Cyclingnews that the road race is an all-encompassing goal of hers this year.
USA Cycling has published a long list of nine riders, which includes double Olympic gold medallist in the time trial Kristin Armstrong, women's UCI Hour Record holder Evelyn Stevens and newly crowned US time trial champion Carmen Small.
The US is one of five nations that have secured four places for the road races, along with Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Australia. While the US, Germany, Netherlands and Australia have also qualified two each for the time trial, Italy will only field one rider in that discipline.
The Netherlands announced their Olympic team to include London gold medallist Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen, Ellen van Dijk and Annemiek van Vleuten, while Chantal Blaak is the first reserve.
Great Britain has secured three riders for the road race and one for the time trial. Leading that team will be world champion Lizzie Armitstead, who told Cyclingnews she would give up any result this year to win the gold medal in Rio. The remaining two places on the British team have not been chosen. It has been reported that comeback rider Emma Pooley could secure one of those places, particularly because of her strength on the climbs and in the time trial.
Also with three spots are Belgium, Canada, Sweden and Poland. The first three also have two spots for the time trial, while Poland only secured one. Sweden has already announced their team to include Emma Johansson.
Brazil, France, Luxembourg and South Africa have each qualified two places for the women's road events. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio from South Africa has announced her participation on the road race. Of those four nations, France, Luxembourg and South Africa have qualified one spot for the time trial, while Brazil did not qualify for that discipline.
The remaining nations: Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Spain, Finland, Isreal, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, New Zealand, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Switzerland, Thailand, Taipei, Ukraine and Venezuela, have qualified one spot.
The National Olympic Committees for each country have until June 15 to confirm whether they will use their maximum allotments. After that date, the UCI will reallocate the spaces that are not used.
The Olympic qualification system for cycling's four Olympic disciplines are published on the UCI website to the public to review.
2016 Rio Olympic Quotas - Women
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Kirsten Frattini has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level all the way to the World Cup. She is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. Kirsten has worked in both print and digital publishing. She started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006, and was responsible for reporting from the US and Canadian racing scene. Now as a Production Editor, she produces international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits global news and writes features.
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