Great Britain has qualified for three places in the women’s road race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, in August. It means that world champion Lizzie Armitstead will go into the race with the support of two compatriots.
The UCI published the list of places qualified by each country (National Oympic Committee) on Wednesday afternoon. In addition to three places in the women’s road race, GB has also qualified for one spot in the women’s time trial.
The maximum number of places that any nation could qualify for is four in the road race and two in the time trial.
Armitstead claimed a silver medal in the women’s road race at the 2012 Games in London behind Dutchwoman Marianne Vos. So far in 2016, world champion Armitstead has performed strongly, winning five race including the women’s Tour of Flanders and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Vos has only just returned to racing after an extended period of injury and rehabilitation. The Netherlands’ Anna van der Breggen goes into the event as the bookies’ favourite.
The exact make-up of Great Britain’s Olympic team has yet to be decided, but it is possible that Armitstead may be supported by Emma Pooley, who has recently returned to road racing after a break with the intention of Olympic selection.
Pooley claimed the silver medal in the 2008 women’s time trial in Beijing, and could well be a front-runner to occupy Britain’s TT slot.
Australia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and the USA were the only nations to qualify for the maximum four riders in the road race, giving them a numerical advantage.
A total of 67 women will take part in the road race on August 7, and 25 in the time trial on August 10. Riders selected for the time trial must also be selected for the road race.