Great Britain has qualified just three spots for the Elite men’s world championship road race on October 3rd in Melbourne.

Great Britain scored 255 qualifying points leaving them as the 15th ranked nation in the world, meaning their places were qualified through the UCI’s Europe Tour where they were ranked 14th.

Nine nations qualifed the full quota of nine riders. Kazakhstan, that qualified tenth only qualified six starters as they didn’t have a large enough spread of riders earning their points. Although they earnt a sevent starter by topping the Asia Tour ranking.

Great Britain qualified the full quota in 2009 thanks to Mark Cavendish’s wins and Bradley Wiggins finishing fourth in the Tour de France. Without that high finish, and without Cavendish’s Milan San Remo win, GB fell short in the rankings this year.

The Allocation of places means GB will start the road race with one of the favourites in Mark Cavendish, but with fewer riders than Columbia (seven riders), and Morocco, Venezuela and Iran (all qualified six riders).

Cycling Weekly reported last week that the riders in line to support Mark Cavendish are Geraint Thomas, David Millar, Roger Hammond, Jeremy Hunt, Ben Swift and Ian Stannard. BC Coach Rod Ellingworth said; “Mark doesn’t need someone in the last kilometre, he’s shown he can sprint without a dedicated lead-out.”

“The course is not specifically for sprinters, but my prediction is four or five riders will go away on the last lap. It then depends on how many sprinters are in the second group and if they have team mates to bring it back. If they do, it’ll be a 30-up sprint and puts Mark in with a shout.”

Nations with nine riders
Spain, Italy, Belgium, Australia, USA, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands

Nations with seven riders
France, Solvenia, Colombia (extra place qualified through Ivan Casas winning the America Tour ranking), Kazakhstan (extra place qualified through Andrey Mizurov winning the Asia Tour ranking)

Nations with six riders
Morocco, Venezuela, Iran, Poland, Portugal, Denmark, Ukraine

Nations with four starters
South Africa (extra place qualified through Jay Thomson winning the Africa Tour ranking), Luxembourg.

Nations with three riders
Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Korea, Great Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Estonia, Ireland, Norway, Austria, Serbia, New Zealand, Slovakia.

Nations with two riders
Belarus, Sweden

Nations with one rider
Uzbekistan, Cuba, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Latvia, Greece, Romania

Britain looking strong in the women’s race
Britain’s elite women will start their road race with the maximum allocation of seven spots thanks to their fourth spot in the UCI rankings. Results for Emma Pooley, Lizzie Armitstead and Nicole Cooke see Britain ranked behind the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. The USA is the fifth nation to qualify seven women for the road race.

Another ten nations qualify six starters, including Australia, Belgium, France and Switzerland, while the five weakest cycling nations get five spots. Australia get an extra spot for Bridie O’Donnell winning the Oceana Tour.

In the under-23 men’s road race 19 nations will start with five riders, while the remaining nations get four and three spots.

The world championships run from September 29 to October 3 in Geelong, Australia.

World championship website

  • Cavologuardi

    Yup, I’ve noted a lot of Aussies saying the same thing, Tuggo, that this course will be tougher than initially anticipated… but the first 85km are pan flat… and Cav proved in Milan-San Remo last year that he does have the legs to go the distance and that he can make it over the lumpy bits (and here’s the crucial bit) WITH SUPPORT. Get him up there somewhere near the end and, as we saw in this year’s Tour, the gobby lil’ so-and-so is capable of absolutely anything (even without a lead-out). Without that support, I think he’ll have to wait till next year. Another Aussie in the rainbow hoops? I wouldn’t bet against it.

  • Tuggo

    It is generally considered by the Australians not to be a sprinters course.
    Google and then Wanna take a ride round the course.
    It is tough 11 times up that hill plus who knows what the weather will be like in Melbourne.

  • Cavologuardi

    Hovis, you’re SO prickly, it’s ridiculous… calm down, man! No, of course Team Sky aren’t responsible for the UCI’s crummy ranking and points system, who said they were? Is it not legitimate, however, as a fan of ALL GB riders, to question if the blurring of the lines between the ambitions of British Cycling and Team Sky could be a cause for concern?

    The things Brailsford and British Cycling have achieved on the track have been rightly lauded but equally Team Sky failed to perform at this year’s Tour, which if not their sole focus was certainly their primary objective. Also, Team Sky is, by necessity, a multinational affair, which is great for Norway (the Spanish seem to do quite well on their own [gynecologists aside], thank you very much, Juan Antonio) but it doesn’t necessarily follow that Team Sky are going to be picking up ranking points for British Cycling.

    As far as Cav is concerned, this year’s Worlds course generally seems to be considered winnable – surely Cav’s cause should’ve been considered a priority by British Cycling? It clearly hasn’t been. Why wasn’t it? Or maybe they’re hoping Cav will sign with Team Sky and win next year in Copenhagen?

  • John McManus

    What is the point of the World Championship Road Race? Some lunatic UCI system of filling the field with no hopers……I won’t even watch the race.

  • hovis

    Someone having another pop at Sky. How do you work out its their fault that Morocco and Iran get so many riders? Did they design the faulty points system aswell? This blaming Brailsford cuclture is about the same as the blame Capello stuff in the tabloids and every phone-in radio show, and most of it comes from people who have a very shallow understanding. Or did I miss Sky sabotage Cavendish winning this year’s Milan San Remo aswell, perhaps one of the biggest single reasons we got so many riders last year.

  • george

    Even more interesting will be the womens race . There will be a rift in that team for sure. Will Nicole Cooke get on with anyone? A fantastic talent but very poorly managed as an athelete and also poor PR management . British cycling has let here down so badly in these areas. Its not just about the bike don’t BC coach riders with PR? No point in having a top psychologist then not teaching folk how to mix etc…..

  • Ken Evans

    Cav might still be able to win !

  • Craig

    RE Lindsay, what insight(!) last year brad wiggins was 4th in the tour what got GB the extra points. This year Sky have won races with Russ Downing and Ben Swift which get no points as they are ProTour team, GB have more riders scoring points this year but are getting screwed by an ill-conceived points system.

  • Baz

    It was evident months ago that this was likely to happen; yes, it’s unfair but don’t expect any regrets from the UCI – it’s all part of their ‘mondialisation’ programme and they’ll be delighted. The question now is who should go with Cav. Hammond scored almost as many of those all-important points in his classics campaign as Cav and if he is prepared to go should be given a place. Jez has too much history to get the call ( worlds no-show and TdF animosity with Cav) although he has had plenty of experience of racing in Oz and has worked his socks of for his team this year – pity. Would Stannard and Swift be prepared to work for C or only for each other? Who knows! If I were selecting I’d go for Roger H. and Adam Blythe. He’s had a good classics season and shown his willingness to work for O P Lotto and earned praise from Phillipe Gilbert in the process.No Sky riders? It won’t happen then!

  • lindsay

    This is the incredible result of Brailsford and Suttons experiment. Last year we still had 6 and now we have Sky. 🙂

  • Mauhum

    Likewise, I don’t recall reading about Moroccan riders winning races this year, unless there are a lot of kasbah crits lol !!

  • Cavologuardi

    Iran have six riders and GB only have three… er, have I missed something. What’s that you say… an Iranian won some race in China? Well, whoop-dee-doo. Do we have too many domestiques and stagiaires? Or have Sky ballsed things up, rather?

  • Dave

    Another example of the UCI stupid logic, whilst recognisiing it is THE WORLD championships, does it mean that nations whose riders will not last a lap should get a place instead of European riders who make up the bulk of the peleton.

    Places are given according to rider points scoring / ranking but if you take GB as an example a large % of GB riders ride for non GB based teams and where does their duty in races lie but with their sponsors not with GB. You can have the situation where a nations point scoring riders are not suitable for the course and riders who are hard working domestiques for their trade teams are better suited for the course so they get selected instead of the points scorers for their nation.
    Think back to Harm Ottenbros the unlikely winner of the Worls who reckons it riuned his carreer – is this what the UCI wants . Given the UCI track record the answer is probably YES.