After following the Men's and Women's USA Track & Field 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials this past weekend, it made me wonder if there's another way to go about our Olympic selection process in mountain biking. The Marathon qualifier is a single race with the top 3 punching their ticket to the Rio Olympics. While this format creates loads of anxiety on race day and possible anomalies, it also generates buzz and makes the event newsworthy outside of the running world. Usually if you attach "Olympics" to anything it gets everyone's attention, but the current qualification process for Mountain Biking is so drawn out that even the most devout mountain bike fans would struggle to maintain interest.
If you aren't up to reading the 23 page document, let me summarize:
As an example - the US Track & Field Olympic Team Trials - all track and field events held over the course of 10 days in the same location! I'm not sure that's realistic for all cycling events, but an "Olympic Mountain Bike Trials" could be a great thing for the sport - better for racers, USA Cycling, and the marketability of mountain bike racing in general.