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Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 12:27 UK

Olympic qualifying change hits British medal hopes

Kenny and Hoy
Jason Kenny won sprint silver behind Chris Hoy in Beijing

Great Britain's hopes of a large track cycling medal haul at London 2012 have taken a blow with the news teams will be restricted to one rider per event.

Team GB won seven out of 10 events at the 2008 Olympics, with four additional medals coming in the same events.

The move by world governing body the UCI comes five months after a programme overhaul to include more women's races.

The European Championships, previously an under-23 event, has now been included as a qualification event.

In Beijing, Sir Chris Hoy won three Olympic titles, Bradley Wiggins two and Victoria Pendleton and Rebecca Romero also claimed gold.

We might have to think a little bit more carefully about who focuses on what in what respect

GB performance director David Brailsford (speaking last month)

Britain secured gold and silver medals in the men's sprint and men's keirin, with Hoy finishing ahead of Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar, respectively

And Wendy Houvenaghel finished second to Romero in the individual pursuit.

Steven Burke was third behind Wiggins in the men's pursuit and Chris Newton took bronze in the men's points race.

British Cycling expected the change to come and are considering asking stars to focus their efforts on single events, freeing up space for other members of the squad to go for gold.


Performance director David Brailsford said last month: "There will be just one rider in the keirin, one in the sprint and then team sprint so we might have to think a little bit more carefully about who focuses on what in what respect."

Previously, only the World Championships and World Cup events made up the Olympic qualification schedule.

The European under-23 competition is scheduled for Apeldoorn, Holland from 28 July, with a further omnium and madison European Championships on the cards for 8-10 October in Pruszkow, Poland.

There are suggestions the Polish event could be extended to make a full senior European event, which would clash with British commitments at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Each nation will be able to qualify a total of 16 riders for the 2012 Games, with nine places for males and seven for females.

The difference in numbers is because there are three rather than four riders in the women's team pursuit and two rather than three in the women's team sprint.

In BMX, Britain, as hosts, will be guaranteed at least one female rider - likely to be three-time world champion Shanaze Reade - and one male, with a maximum of three males and two females.

In cross-country mountain biking, there will be a maximum of three male riders and two female riders per nation.

The qualification criteria for the road events is still to be announced.

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see also
Romero aims for road time trial
22 Jan 10 |  Cycling
Cycling shake-up hits British duo
10 Dec 09 |  Cycling
GB cyclists shocked by 2012 plan
28 Oct 09 |  Cycling
Hoy clinches historic third gold
19 Aug 08 |  Cycling

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