The Olympic aspirations of mountain biker Rosara Joseph received a blow when she broke her wrist in practice for this weekend's world cup event in France.

The 30-year-old Beijing Olympian suffered the injury in preparations for Monday's race at La Bresse, which is the final qualifying opportunity for the London Olympics.

Joseph, locked in a battle with fellow New Zealander Karen Hanlen for the solitary spot in the team for the cross country, has broken two bones in her wrist.

She told BikeNZ she had been taken to hospital where she will have a screw inserted into the wrist.

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Joseph, who finished in the top 10 in Beijing, expects to be out of action for six weeks to eight weeks.

"It's a real blow for Rosara who was getting back to best form," BikeNZ's Andy Reid said. "I understand that La Bresse is an extremely challenging course both physically and technically and it is very disappointing news.

"That said, we are still looking for a really strong showing from Karen this weekend to show that last week's 26th placing, on the back of some mechanical problems, was an aberration. And we definitely do not want any more injuries."

Mr Reid said he will get a more accurate medical appraisal following Joseph's surgery. The selectors will meet once the final quotas have been announced by UCI to determine the nomination of women's representative for London to present to the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

The under-23 racing, featuring three Kiwis, is on Sunday, with Hanlen the sole New Zealand now racing in the elite class on Monday.