Athlete quotas for the Rio Olympics, announced by the UCI on Monday, specify that the United States has been allocated only two starters in the men’s Olympics road race and time trial.
Allocations are determined by the UCI’s nations ranking, which is based on results from the 2015 calendar year in the UCI WorldTour, UCI Africa Tour, UCI America Tour, UCI Asia Tour, UCI Europe Tour and UCI Oceania Tour. Countries at the top of either the WorldTour or their continental ranking — Italy, Colombia, Spain, Great Britain, and Belgium — will have up to five riders in the men’s road race.
The U.S. was 18th in the UCI’s WorldTour nations ranking, behind Russia and ahead of Denmark, and fifth in the America Tour ranking, hence its low road race allocation.
The oddities of the Olympics allocation process mean that nations with lesser results on the international stage but greater results within their own continent often start more riders. Canada will start three in the road race, as will Morocco, Iran, Argentina, and Ukraine. Slovenia and the Czech republic will start four.