Posted by Editor on 04/3/08
Canadian Worlds Criteria Released for BMX and Mountain Bike
The Canadian Cycling Association has released the selection criteria for the national team for both the Mountain Bike and BMX World Championships. The BMX criteria can be downloaded Here, and the Mountain Bike criteria Here.
MTB Worlds Selection Criteria Highlights:
The Mountain Bike Worlds will be the final selection event for the Olympic team in the cross-country. The CCA has set a maximum XC squad of 15 riders, with 13 selected through criteria and two 'wild card' selections, based on performances. There are 3 spots each for Elite men, Elite women and U23 men, 2 spots for Junior men and 1 spot each for U23 women and Junior women.
The first criteria is medalling at the 2007 Worlds - no one did, so it is redundant. Next is a top placing in the first five World Cups this season: top-16 for both Elite and U23 men, top-12 for both Elite and U23 women. if more than one rider does this, then they will look at the highest placing. For the U23 men and women there is also the opportunity to qualify through a top-3 finish at the Pan Am Championships.
For Elite men and women there is a third way to qualify: through a top-20 ranking in the UCI standings after the fifth World Cup of the season. There is also a final way to qualify for all categories, based on Canada Cup standings from their best two results in the first 3 Canada Cups of the season. This is highly unlikely to be used in the Elite men or women, or U23 men categories, but is effectively the only way to qualify for Junior men and women.
It does leave the U23 women in a bind however: go to World Cups where the competition is greater (but the chances of a top-12 result are vanishingly small), and therefore risk not getting selected because someone else stayed at home and raced the lower level Canada Cups. This one has the potential to have our best riders not go where the best competition is.
The CCA has also stated that the selected Elite and U23 XC riders will have their expenses paid, while all Junior riders will have to contribute $2000 towards their expenses. Given the scare resources facing the CCA, this is not an unreasonable decision. However, limiting the Elite teams to three riders each (from a maximum of seven) is bound to cause controversy. Canada has multiple riders in the Elite and U23 categories who could benefit from the experience of riding the Worlds even if they do not meet the selection criteria for funded positions.
This year, this has been partially addressed by the two wild card spots, but it would arguably be more reasonable to leave an opening for up to two wild card spots per category, which are self-funded. The argument has been advanced that too many riders will affect the support that the top riders receive, but that is what the self-funding would address.
On the Downhill side, the entire squad is self-funded, and the quotas are set at the maximum available to Canada (since staff will be funded by the riders who attend. The criteria are similar to XC: top-16/top-12/top-32 (Elite men/Eliet and Junior women/Junior men) in a World Cup, top-20/top-40 (Elite men, Elite women and Junior women/Junior men) ranking in UCI standings, and finally standings after the first two Canada Cup events. It is likely that some of the quotes will be filled through Canada Cups.
While there is bound to be anger on the DH side about no funding, in this case the CCA's hands are tied by designation of funds from funding agencies for Olympic sports.
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