Fewer places for men, but more for women

The UCI publishes the Olympic qualification status

Written by Peter Maurer


The Olympic stadium is much smaller for men | Photo: Cor Vos

04.07.2022 | (RSN) – The World Cycling Union has released the qualification criteria for road, track and mountain bike racing for the 2024 Olympic Games, which will take place from July 26 to August 11. Places in all disciplines have been adjusted so that the same number of women as men start in the races. The clear loser is the men’s road race, which was reduced by 40 riders. Women now have 33 new places to launch.

The alignment also has an impact on almost all major nations, which were recently allowed to compete with a maximum of five drivers. Now that number has been reduced to four. In Tokyo, it was also the six strongest UCI-rated countries that were allowed to use the maximum number of units. Now they are only the top five. For example, German men, who have three starting positions in Japan, will lose one if they get the same rank, as Switzerland.

The trial time has also been reduced. While 41 athletes were eligible to start last year, there are only 35 in Paris, but what hasn’t changed here is that the top 10 nations at the 2023 World Championships are allowed to field rookie players. Qualification is again based on the nation’s ranking, with points collected in the Elite and U23 categories. The arrangement begins in October of this year and lasts exactly twelve months.

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Currently, Belgium, Slovenia, France, the Netherlands and Spain can provide the maximum number of drivers of four for men. The Germans, who are currently in thirteenth place, are allowed to send two athletes to the road race. They will then have to compete in a time trial. Austria currently has only one starting point on the way.

For women, the top five are the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, the United States and Belgium. Germany currently has three junior players, Austria, which recently had Olympic champion Anna Kissenhofer, currently has two places inside.

Tricycles can no longer be ridden in the mountains, and small nations have almost no chance on the track

In mountain biking, it has two starting places for each race. These mainly affect the top two countries in the standings, which are still allowed to start in three countries in 2021. The success of the Swiss trio, as was the case with Jolanda Neff, Sina Fry and Linda Inergand in Tokyo, is out of the question in 2024.

A lot has also changed on the track in terms of qualification. Five places per race were eliminated and the main part of the Olympic stadium was qualified by the team pursuit. Because instead of eight teams, ten teams are now allowed. While places in enemy disciplines remained the same, the number in endurance competitions shrank dramatically. Only five states instead of eight could qualify for Madison. This is where the Ten Nations come from Team Quest, making a field of 15 teams.

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At Omnium, the number of qualified athletes has been reduced from twelve to seven. This is where Dole Madison and the stalking team come in. On the track, the qualification period begins on July 9 and ends on April 14, so only the two World Championships and continental competitions held during this period (2022 and 2023), as well as the Nation Cup series starting in 2023, which included only three stops this year.

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