Road

High UCI ranking means Team USA can bring maximum number of riders to worlds

Having a full roster for the demands of a long world championship is a major plus.

Team USA will be able to bring the maximum number of cyclists for the Valkenburg worlds September 16-23, but whether it can fill out a nine-man roster for the men’s road team remains to be seen.

The United States is among the top-10 nations in the UCI world ranking, meaning that it can bring a maximum of nine riders for the elite men’s road race on September 23.

The hilly parcours, with a finish about 1.5km after the Cauberg climb, favors neither a sprinter nor a grand-tour-style rider, two natural strengths among the American peloton.

The course favors the likes of Philippe Gilbert (Belgium), Alejandro Valverde (Spain) and Peter Sagan (Slovakia).

Having a full, nine-rider roster for the demands of a seven-hour world championship is a major plus. France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Great Britain, Australia and the Netherlands join Team USA with a maximum of nine riders. Switzerland and Slovakia will have six-rider teams, meaning that Sagan will have more help than he did in the Olympic road race, where he raced without teammates.

On the women’s side, Team USA is among the top-five nations in the world, meaning it can bring a maximum of seven riders to the hilly race.

The UCI also confirmed the field for the pro team time trial on September 16.

All 18 WorldTour teams are in, including Garmin-Sharp, BMC Racing and RadioShack-Nissan (though it’s registered in Luxembourg).

Also qualifying are UnitedHealthCare, Team Type 1-Sanofi and Team Optum.