Dear friends, the time is upon us. The time when bike nerdery and UCI rule frustration come together in the holy union that is: the world championships quota.
The world champs quota rules are so convoluted that you just about need a PhD to figure them out.
I don't have a PhD. I do have a beer right now. The only way for this story is down.
Below the jump I mean. Cause that's where the numbers are.
PS - can't promise there won't be maths.
But first, a wee explanation. Basically, there are three ways in which to qualify for the worlds: through the world ranking, through the regional ranking which you're a part of (Europe, Asia, Africa, America or Oceania, otherwise known as the kiwi rule cause there are only two nations in it and one is Australia), or by individual merit.
I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD
If a country is among the ten best in the world, then they get to send a nine man squad. Unless less than 9 men of that country score world tour points, then they get to send a squad of as many countrymen as there are in the individual world tour ranking, unless that number is smaller than six, then they get to send six. See why I have a beer*?
The rule we last discussed is known among world champ quota experts (ok, just among me) as 'the luxembourg rule', as it was made up because year after year Frändy kept scoring enough points to send a nine men squad, while Luxembourg didn't have anywhere near nine professional cyclists. Normal people would've figured out there's something wrong with the scoring system if this keeps happening, the UCI added an addendum. To each their own.
I ROCK MY REGION
If your nation is not in the top 10, there is no need for despair. The next step we get to is the regional tours. Basically, the top 10 nations are filtered out, and then your place in that ranking determines how many riders you get to send. This differs for all the regions: if you're second in Oceania you get to send three, second in Europe six. Sixteenth in Europe three, sixteenth in Africa, diddly squat.
I'M SO LONELY
If your nation still hasn't qualified, you should start to worry. Unless you're actually a pretty good cyclist - but not a very good one because if you were very good you would've gotten into that top 10 all alone - then there is hope. If you are in the top 100 of the individual world tour ranking and your nation has not otherwise qualified, you get to take two friends with you to Valkenburg. This is the case for Ireland, Slovenia, Norway, Belarus and Luxembourg (oh how the skinny have fallen). If you still haven't qualified after all this, but if you are on the world tour ranking, then you still get to go. The more, the merrier, right? If you're the only rider from your nation on that WT ranking, you go alone. If there's two of you, you both get to go; if there's three of you, you three get to go. This is only the case for Amador's Costa Rica.
And one more addendum - if you haven't managed to score world tour points, but you're really good at your region's tour, but your country as whole sucks and hasn't managed to otherwise qualify; you get to go solo. Those guys are covered under 'addendums' below.
If you're confused, don't worry. So are we all. Pat especially. But, below you'll find a neat little table which includes - hopefully - all the right quotas.
Because, even though the Vuelta doesn't start til Saturday, the quota deadline is tomorrow. Eat that, Tour of Spain. Pat mocks your attempt to be significant.
|FIRST 10 NATIONS|
|Slovakia||9||→||6||When you can get into the top 10 by merit of only Sagan and (10 points from) P. Velits, the system is fucked up|
|Switzerland||9||→||6||When Cancellara is not the best Suisse, the universe is fucked up|
|THE KIWI RULE|
|ALL FOR ONE, AND ONE FOR ALL|
|Ireland||3||(Daniel Martin, Nicolas Roche)|
|Slovenia||3||(Janez Brajkovic, Simon Spilak)|
|Norway||3||(Edvald Boasson Hagen, Lars Petter Nordhaug)|
|Costa Rica||1||(Andrey Amador)|
*day ending in -day