A lacklustre 2019 for British riders means that Great Britain will only be handed four men’s and two women’s spots at next summer’s Olympic road races. The UCI confirmed the allocation of team places for next year’s road and time trial events in Tokyo on Monday afternoon.
For the men’s road race, the British team miss out on being able to field the maximum of five riders, as they had in Rio 2016 and London 2012, instead being awarded a team of fou for Tokyo.
For the first year since 2014, a Grand Tour went without a British winner while British riders only took six WorldTour wins all year.
Instead of Great Britain, the six nations allocated a five-man squad are Belgium – team of defending champion Greg van Avermaet, Colombia, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Spain – who managed to beat Slovenia to the final spot.
Thankfully for British Cycling, the men’s team did retain the maximum two spots in the individual time trial alongside eight other nations.
As for the women, they will be left to compete with only two riders in the road race, half of the four-woman teams permitted for the best nations. Those allocated the maximum teams were Australia, Germany, Italy, the USA and the Netherlands – team of defending gold medalist Anna van der Breggen.
The British women will also only be allocated one spot for the individual time trial, the same as four years previous in Rio.
Qualification for slots was earned based on results from the Elite and U23 UCI road calendar.
It comes as the overall sizes of both pelotons reduce from that of Rio 2016. Next year, the men’s road race that takes place in the foothills of Mount Fuji will contain only 130 riders, 13 fewer than Rio 2016, while the women’s peloton will only contain 67 riders, one rider less than in Rio.