London, May 7, 2014: After a detailed review process which started in August 2013 between the UCI and the International Olympic Committee [IOC], the qualification systems for the four cycling disciplines that will feature at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games [Road, Track, BMX and Mountain Bike] have now been agreed.
The qualification systems are based on those used with success at the London 2012 Olympic Games. A total of 528 athletes [325 men and 203 women] will compete in 18 events at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. However, there are a number of changes compared with London 2012 qualification:
– One quota place has been transferred from the Men’s Road to the Men’s Track to balance the quota following the change from three to four athletes in the Women’s Team Pursuit.
– Permit two athletes from each nation to compete in the Men’s and Women’s individual Sprint and Keirin. Previously the national quota was one per event.
– Quota places have been allocated to the host country for Road, Mountain Bike and, as in 2012, BMX.
– For Road, quota places through the Africa Tour circuit increase from five for the London 2012 Games to nine for Rio 2016.
– For BMX, three more nations will be able to participate in the 2016 Olympic Games compared with 2012. Furthermore, there are now three different ways of qualifying instead of two. Finally, the minimum age of participation has been lowered to 18.
Brian Cookson, President of the UCI said:
“After a detailed process of review with the IOC and the Association of National Olympic Committees [ANOC], I am delighted that the cycling qualification systems for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games have now been approved. I am particularly pleased that we can look forward to more nations competing in BMX and that extra quota places have been made available through the Africa Tour circuit for Road and that we will see more of the world’s very best riders compete in the individual sprint and keirin.
“With Brazil being granted quota places for Road, Mountain Biking and BMX the 2016 Games provide a genuine opportunity to build on the already significant progress the sport has witnessed there in recent years. Today’s confirmation of qualification systems really does signal the count-down for riders aspiring to compete in the Rio Olympic Games.” —- By: Rob Fawdon