After plenty of speculation, we finally have the official word on how riders will qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. The UCI quietly released this information earlier this month and I will link to their formal breakdown at the bottom of this page. In the meantime, I’ll attempt to simplify things in a way that is a bit easier to comprehend.

18 riders will compete in the 2020 Olympics. That’s 9 men and 9 women. Each gender will see 8 countries represented. The qualification process is the same for each gender, so I’ll just be referencing 9 spots in general. Make sense? I sure hope so.

Japan gets a spot.

1 man and 1 woman from Japan are automatically qualified. This is referred to as a “Host Country Place.” I’m no connoisseur of The Olympics, but I’m assuming host countries generally have spots in all events. And, while this is pure speculation, all signs point to these two riders being Japan's highest-ranked man and woman, Rim Nakamura and Minato Oike. 

Also, if Japan qualifies through one of the other pathways, it opens the spot for an additional country to qualify. 


There is a Qualification Period from November 1, 2018 to May 11, 2020.

Riders will earn points for their countries at UCI-sanctioned events in this time period. These events include UCI BMX World Cup stops (FISE) and other soon-to-be-announced events. Baltic Games in Poland, for example, is a UCI-sanctioned event this year, but it happens before this qualification period takes place. If it is once again a UCI-sanctioned event in 2019, it will count towards qualification. 

The points earned by the 2 top-placing riders in the UCI individual ranking are used to form an Olympic Qualification ranking. It is this ranking which is used to qualify countries at the end of the qualification period. Basically, if you’re the only rider from your country, you’re going to have a very difficult time qualifying this way.

6 countries will qualify this way. 

Australia's Brandon Loupos - Current UCI World Cup Points Leader

The country that scores the most points will send 2 riders (I see Russia, USA, UK, and Australia being the front-runners here). The countries placing 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th will each send 1 rider.

The final two spots will go to countries based on individual rider performance at the 2019 UCI Urban World Championships.

The two highest placing riders qualify their countries. If their country is already qualified, the spot will go to the next-highest ranking country who has not yet qualified. If you're the only rider from your country, this is going to be your best shot at getting in. This is incredibly relevant for riders like Daniel Dhers (competing for Venezuela), Kenneth Tencio (competing for Costa Rica), Marin Rantes (competing for Coratia), and so-on. 


So, to repeat, here's the lineup - 

1 - Host Country (Japan)

2 - UCI Points in Qualification Period - #1

3 - UCI Points in Qualification Period - #1

4 - UCI Points in Qualification Period - #2

5 - UCI Points in Qualification Period - #3

6 - UCI Points in Qualification Period - #4

7 - UCI Points in Qualification Period - #5

8 - 2019 UCI Urban World Championships - #1 (or highest non-qualified country)

9 - 2019 UCI Urban World Championships - #2 (or second-highest non-qualified country)

Also, it is important to keep in mind that this is how COUNTRIES qualify. Which rider(s) each country appoints to compete is entirely up to them. In most cases, countries will select their highest-placing rider. However, they are not required to. 

Ok, that about does it. Want to read through the UCI's document? Click here!

The party officially starts on November 1st of this year, so come to China, bring a jacket, and start scoring some damn points!

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