The 2008 Summer Olympics marked the seventh appearance of an Olympic women's road race event. Qualification for the race was restricted to three athletes per National Olympic Committee (NOC) for the 16 top-ranked countries in overall Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) standings at 1 June 2008, and a maximum of two athletes each for the countries ranking 17–24. An NOC with an athlete in the top 100 at 31 May 2008 received a place, which was taken from the countries ranked 17–24 in reversed order, provided that these athletes qualified through the UCI World Tour rankings. Additionally, three places were available at the B World Championship for NOCs that did not qualify through the UCI standing; Gu Sun-Geun, Hae Ok-Jeong and Thatsani Wichana secured Olympic qualification for their NOCs in this way, but only the first was chosen by her national committee to compete. The maximum quota of the event was set at 67 cyclists, and as of 5 June, 66 cyclists were qualified in this way. Although the Chinese and Austrian NOCs were allowed to enter three cyclists, they only entered two. This left three open positions: two were allotted to South Africa and New Zealand, based on their World Tour rankings, and the third was given to Mauritius by direct invitation. Only 66 of the 67 entrants began the race, as María Isabel Moreno of Spain left the country days earlier after failing a drug test.
Read more about this topic: Cycling At The 2008 Summer Olympics – Women's Road Race