It's an exciting day for women's cycling - the May UCI rankings are out, so we have an initial idea of how many riders the top teams will have for the Olympics! At least, according to the rules... I think we can be confident of the numbers from 1-13 (1-5 get 4 riders, 6-13 get 3), but there's a complication, of course - while the top 23 nations get to send riders, if there are riders in the top 100 of the individual rankings, whose country doesn't have a place, their country gets a spot, and a spot is taken off a team - starting at the lowest ranked of the 23, and working up.
Confused? I am! But come below the jump to see my guesstimation of how many riders each country will get to send...
This comes with a huge warning - THIS IS AN ESTIMATE! Wait for the UCI to announce full numbers before getting excited, if you're interested in a country below 13 in the rankings! The countries without points in their column are the ones where a rider is in the UCI top 100 individual rankings, but their country isn't in the top 23....
The big news about the rankings since the last announcement:
- The USA have done phenomenally well, moving ahead of Italy to take third place - with Evelyn Stevens and Amber Neben pulling in LOADS of points in the last month!
- Despite Emma Johansson's great win in the Tour de Free State, Great Britain have stayed in the top 5, enabling them to send 4 riders (this is thanks to the Brits in AA Drink-Leontien.nl, who have had one eye on the UCI rankings for the last few months - and Sharon Laws coming 2nd, and Lizzie Armitstead 4th in Gooik really helped)
- South Africa moved up into 13th place, enabling them to send 3 riders, pushing Lithuania down - Ash Moolman's performance in the Tour de Free State (and in general) was very important here
- New Zealand should have 2 spots, because they qualified for 2 spots in the ITT and are 15th - however, by my calculations, they get knocked down to 1 rider, by Polona Batalgelj being 100th in the UCI ranks and getting a spot for Slovenia... who knows what'll happen there?
So watch this space for the actual UCI announcement, to see if I'm right or not - and for the announcements about who will be in the teams. I've written about the riders who'll be in the running for Australia, the USA, Great Britain and Italy - but bear in mind, that's a bit out of date by now.