By Nigel Wynn published
Great Britain has failed to qualify for any places in the mountain bike cross-country races in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
It is a further blow to the GB Olympic cycling team after they also failed to qualify for the women's team sprint on the track.
British men and women both ended just outside the qualification ranking used to decide the number of places in the off-road discipline.
In total, there are places for 50 riders in the men's cross-country and 30 in the women's cross-country. Switzerland, France, Spain, Czech Republic and Italy qualified for the maximum three places in the men's event.
The UCI's Olympic qualification rules for the XC MTB state that "The UCI Olympic Qualification Ranking is a combination of the UCI ranking by nation cross-country as of 25 May 2015 and 25 May 2016."
Currently, for the 2016 season, Great Britain is ranked 23rd in the women's and 27th in the men's XC ranking. Last year (2015), GB was ranked 19th for the women and 22nd for the men.
To qualify for one place, GB needed to be ranked at least 17th for the women and 23rd for the men for the 2015 and 2016 rankings combined.
In addition to the outright top-ranked National Olympic Committees, the top-ranked NOCs from the Africa, America, Asia and Oceania championships also qualify a place. The host country (Brazil) also gains an additional place per event.
The 2016 Olympics run from Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 21. Cycling events comprise road race, time trial, cross-country mountain bike, track and BMX.
The 2012 cross-country titles were taken by Jaroslav Kulhavý (Czech Republic) and Julie Bresset (France). Liam Killeen and Annie Last rode for GB. Last placed eighth and Killeen crashed heavily and was forced to withdraw.
Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.
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