Olympic Qualification: Cycling Ireland Off Road News

The UCI recently confirmed the list of countries that have gained qualification for the 2008 MTB XCO event at the 2008 Olympics.  Ireland has a place on the list, finishing in 24th place in the world rankings, thus gaining one place for Beijing.  Among the countries not to have qualified are leading MTB nations such as Turkey, Japan and Norway, indeed the Olympic hosts China have not gained qualification, though it is expected that they will be allocated a place for the MTB  Cross Country event which will take place on 23rd August.  Three former Cycling Ireland Presidents have offered congratulations to those who played a part in gaining Olympic qualification.

For the past two years a number of riders have represented Ireland in the efforts to gain Olympic qualification, following a programme formatted by International Manager Geoff Seymour and Irish MTB Coach Robin Seymour.  In accordance with the criteria set down in 2006 by the Off Road Commission, the rider who will represent Ireland in the Olympics will be the winner of a series of three races to be held in March and April 2008.  The riders who will battle for Olympic qualification are Robin Seymour (Team Worc), Niall Davis (IMBRC) and Conor McConvey (Team McConvey Cycles).

The three races which will be used to decide the Olympic place will be the first three races in the K-Capital Cup International series.  The first round will be held at Kilruddery Estate in Bray on 9th March, Team Worc the promoters.  Round two will be held on a brand new course at Moneyscalp Wood, Tollymore near Newcastle in County Down, held on 23rd March and promoted by Banbridge Cycling Club.  The final qualification event will be promoted by the K-Capital Club on 6th April and the venue will be Djouce Woods in County Wicklow.  The three riders racing for Olympic qualification will be allocated points for their final position in each of the three races.  The points will be based on ranking points that are awarded at any UCI Class 2 event, these are:

1st. 30pts. 2nd. 20 pts. 3rd. 15 pts. 4th. 12 pts. 5th. 10 pts. 6th. 8 pts. 7th. 6 pts. 8th. 4 pts. 9th. 2 pts. 10th. 1 pt.

In the event of a tie after the final race, the finishing positions in the final race will determine the Olympic place.  The Off Road Commission congratulates all who helped in anyway in gaining the Olympic place and wishes all three riders the best of luck in the three races.

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