The UCI today announced the number of elite men's road cycling spaces each National Olympic Committee has been offered for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Host country Great Britain earned the maximum number of places to support world champion Mark Cavendish in his goal of taking home the Olympic gold.
Each country can earn a maximum of five spots in the road race and two in the time trial, but only six countries claimed the maximum in both events. World silver medalist Matt Goss helped earn the top spots for Australia, while defending Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez helped Spain to five spots. Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland also took the maximum allocation.
Places in the men's road race and time trial were based upon each country's ranking in the UCI WorldTour, Continental Tours, Continental Championships and rider rankings in the UCI tours.
Belgium, Italy and the USA earned five spots in the road race and one in the time trial, while Denmark and Kazakhstan were awarded the maximum number of places for the time trial.
While the top 10 of the WorldTour nations rankings earned five places and the 11th-15th placed countries earned four, each country could only qualify as many spots as it had riders in the 2011 WorldTour individual rankings. Therefore, Luxembourg, which was ninth in the WorldTour but only scored points with Fränk and Andy Schleck, was awarded just two places in the road race and one in the time trial.
Similarly, Norway (Edvald Boasson Hagen, Thor Hushovd and Alexander Kristoff) and Ireland (Daniel Martin, Philip Deignan and Nicolas Roche) were each awarded three places, despite taking 12th and 13th, respectively. Kazakhstan took 15th and claimed two places, qualified by Alexandre Vinokourov and Sergey Renev.
The top countries of each Continental Tour; Morocco (Africa Tour), Colombia (Americas) and Iran (Asia), were awarded three spots in the road race, while Italy (Europe) and Australia (Oceania) had already qualified the maximum through the WorldTour rankings.
Canada earned just one place in the road race and time trial, while China failed to qualify a single spot - however, Hong Kong was awarded one place in each event.
The allocations for women's road events will not be calculated until the end of May, 2012.
For the time trial, the top 15 countries in the WorldTour each earned one spot, while the top nations in the Continental Tours earned a single spot. Countries in the top 10 of the 2011 road world championships time trial earned one additional place in the time trial in London.
National Olympic Committees now have until November 17 to confirm they intend to use all of their spaces. If there are any unused spots in the 145-rider peloton, the UCI will distribute them between March and April 2012.
2012 Olympic Qualifications
|United States of America||5|
|Islamic Republic of Iran||3|
|Hong Kong, China||1|
|Islamic Republic of Iran||1|
|United States Of America||1|
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
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