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USA Cycling News -- 05/09/2006


Shortly, USA Cycling will release detailed information on
the US Olympic BMX Team Selection Process including the how,
when and what it will take to make the US Olympic BMX Team
in 2008. In the meantime, what should be clarified now is how
Olympic start positions are earned.

In Beijing, there are a total of forty-eight (48) BMX start positions:
thirty-two (32) for men and sixteen (16) for women.
Olympic start positions are not guaranteed - they must be earned.

The process described below was established
by the UCI and is the same for every country.

It is important to understand that the Olympic Games represent
a global ideal based on the world coming together once every
four years to watch the best from every country compete.

Every country in the world gets a chance to compete in every
sport, however because there are approximately 175 (give or take)
countries on earth and only a finite amount of space for each sport,
the process of whittling things down begins 2-3 years out.

This same process also limits the number of start positions
any one country can have in order to keep the event the global
ideal it is designed to be. It is the same for every sport.

For BMX in 2008, there are a maximum of three (3) men and two (2)
women start positions available for any one country, including the
US. Positions are earned through a worldwide formula that the UCI
has established in their role as cycling’s global governing body.
In broad form it is simple, but it does have some complexities and caveats.

UCI points earned by US riders between Jan 1, 2006 and May 31, 2008
all go into a US points “bucket” called UCI Nations Ranking. They still
belong to the individual that earned them, but for the sake
of determining start positions, they live in this “bucket”.

Riders from other countries are doing the same with their points.
On May 31, 2008, Olympic start positions will be awarded based
on countries total points in the UCI Nations Ranking.

Only points from the top three (3) riders in UCI points are used when
it comes time to tally for Olympic start positions. This keeps it
fair for all countries, especially those that do not have great depth.

Currently, the top five (5) countries in men’s UCI Nations Ranking will
earn the maximum of three (3) Olympic men’s start positions. The top four
(4) countries in women’s UCI Nations Ranking will earn the maximum of two
(2) Olympic women’s start positions. The process tapers from there to also
include both World Championship results and invitational places. However,
for the US to earn the maximum available start positions, UCI points and
Nations Ranking are all that matter.

The complete detailed document, and all related information,
is available from the UCI website:
http://www.uci.ch/imgarchive/Bmx/Olympics/2008OlympicBMXqualificationcriterias.pdf

For US teams and athletes, it is critical that any and all UCI designated
events are a priority on race schedules from this point forward. It is also
critical that we all work towards filling UCI race fields and finishing UCI
races strong, even if not racing for the win. It is the collective efforts of
all that will drive us towards securing the maximum number of Olympic
start positions in 2008.

If you have any questions on this or any other,
please feel free to contact me anytime.

Doug Martin - USA Cycling / BMX Programs Director
- dmartin@usacycling.org - www.usacycling.org

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