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February 5, 2013
Cycling Australia is pleased to announce the Cyclones squad for the 2013 UCI Track World Championships being staged in Minsk, Belarus from 20 to 24 February.
The squad boasts a wealth of new talent eager to impress on the world stage along with four reigning elite world champions. A long team of 16 has been named but the men’s track endurance squad will be trimmed by one before the final team of 15 flies to Minsk.
“This is the first major step in the rebuilding process for the track program and this world championships is the beginning of the journey to Rio 2016,” said Cycling Australia National Performance Director, Kevin Tabotta.
Notable absentees from the squad include Anna Meares, who has ony recently returned to training after her post Olympic break, and Shane Perkins who is recovering from shoulder surgery while the likes of Jack Bobridge and Rohan Dennis are now concentrating fully on their road careers.
“The post Olympic Games year provides an ideal opportunity for emerging talent to challenge for a place in the elite high performance program and future Cyclones teams,” said Tabotta. “But the focus is still on getting Australia on the podium whether now or by laying the groundwork for the future.”
Tabotta says whilst the team might be young in years they bring a lot of experience with them. Stephanie Morton, as the pilot for Felicity Johnson, won gold in the tandem time trial at the Paralympic Games and grabbed two Para-cycling world titles in 2012. Morton enjoyed triple success at the nationals with wins in the keirin, sprint and team sprint. In Minsk she’ll joing forces with Olympic and world championship medallist, Kaarle McCulloch in the sprint events.
2012 individual pursuit world champion and Olympic Games team pursuit silver medallist, Michael Hepburn, rode a sizzling time to claim the national title last week and will lead a men’s endurance group that also includes fellow Olympic pursuiter and omnium world champion, Glenn O’Shea.
The women’s endurance group boasts three Olympians and welcomes back Sydney rider, Ashlee Ankudinoff.
The men’s sprint group boasts reigning team sprint title holders Scott Sunderland and Matthew Glaetzer who’ll be joined by debutant New South Wales pair Andrew Taylor and Mitchell Bullen who impressed selectors at the track nationals.
“Both the athletes and the staff are looking forward to finding out a bit more about one another and how we work together at the top level of competition,” explained Tabotta. “We’re now on the ‘Road to Rio’ and this is the start of the process to identify the riders and personnel for the 2016 Olympic Games.”
2013 UCI Track World Championships – Cyclones Australian Squad
The eight sprint events are team sprint, sprint, keirin and time trial for both men and women.
The eleven endurance events are men’s and women’s team pursuit, individual pursuit, scratch race, points race and omnium plus the Madison for men.
( * Please note only four of these five riders will travel to MInsk in the final team which will be confirmed by 11 February.)