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Road To 2012
Phil Dixon: “The feeling of qualifying for the Olympics has been worth the sacrifice”

Published 23 May 2012
Words And Photography By Luke Webber

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British Cycling’s Olympic Mountain Bike Coach Phil Dixon has described his relief and happiness at successfully qualifying a starting place for one man and one woman at London 2012 – an ambition he has held since 2007 when he took on the role. The achievement also secures the first British women’s representation at the Olympic mountain bike race since Sydney 2000.

The UCI’s final nation rank table confirmed Britain finished 14th in the men’s and 16th in the women’s standings which is enough to qualify a single nation place for the men's and women's race. And while for a time last year Dixon hoped for even greater things, the end result leaves the team in positive mood just ten weeks away from the Olympic mountain bike races on August 11 and 12.

“All of the hard work and dedication put into achieving this by a large group of people has paid off" Dixon said, speaking after the final qualification race in La Bresse, France.

"British cross country racing is the strongest it has been for many years and as a team we look forward to achieving at the Olympic Games.

“Obviously qualifying the first British woman to the event in over a decade has been a major achievement and for a time it also looked like we could also qualify a second men’s position, but unfortunately Oli Beckingsale broke his pelvis and David Fletcher broke his wrist in summer 2011. That happened at a critical time, cost us alot of points and unfortunately we just fell short of securing a second rider in the event.

“With qualification complete we must now review where our athletes are and make any necessary alterations to their programmes so that they arrive at the Games in the best possible shape. If we do that, we put ourselves in the best possible position to race successfully.”

Final UCI Nation Rank Table - Women's Allocation of Riders

1 Canada 2
2 Switzerland 2
3 France 2
4 Poland 2
5 United States of America 2
6 Slovenia 2
7 Germany 2
8 Norway 2
9 Russian Federation 1
10 Czech Republic 1
11 Italy 1
12 Austria 1
13 Netherlands 1
14 New Zealand 1
15 Ukraine 1
16 Great Britain 1
17 Sweden 1
18 Denmark 1
19 South Africa (Africa) 1
20 Colombia (America) 1
21 People's Republic of China (Asia) 1
22 Australia (Oceania) 1

 

Final UCI Nation Rank Table - Men's Allocation of Riders

1 Switzerland 3
2 France 3
3 Czech Republic 3
4 Spain 3
5 Germany 3
6 Italy 2
7 Netherlands 2
8 South Africa 2
9 United States of America 2
10 Austria 2
11 Canada 2
12 Poland 2
13 Belgium 2
14 Great Britain 1
15 Sweden 1
16 Australia 1
17 Japan 1
18 Brazil 1
19 Ukraine 1
20 Hungary 1
21 Russian Federation 1
22 Argentina 1
23 Greece 1
24 Cyprus 1
25 Namibia (Africa) 1
26 Rwanda (Africa) 1
27 Colombia (America) 1
28 Costa Rica (America) 1
29 Hong Kong, China (Asia) 1
30 People's Republic of China (Asia) 1
31 New Zealand (Oceania) 1
32 Guam 1