Australian road cycling team revealed for Tokyo Olympics
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has revealed the eight-rider line-up that will represent Australia in road cycling events at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
The squad is headlined by two-time ITT world champion Rohan Dennis and two-time Worlds road race medallist Amanda Spratt, but features a strong combination of young talent and experience.
Perhaps the most notable selection is 20-year-old Sarah Gigante who will make her Olympic debut, competing in both the road race and time trial.
“It just feels so surreal to be named a member in my first Australian Olympic Team,” Gigante said. “Going to the Olympics is one of those things I always dreamed of … but it always seemed like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – something I hoped really existed but certainly something very far away and a bit of a fantasy!”
Also on debut in the women’s squad will be Grace Brown (road race and time trial) and veteran Tiffany Cromwell (road race). They’ll join Spratt who’s racing her third Olympics.
“We’ve got a really great team for Tokyo,” Spratt said. “We’ve got a great road captain in Tiffany Cromwell, we’ve seen what Grace has been doing over in Europe, and [with the[ youth of Sarah Gigante we’ve got a strong and well-rounded team that will really suit this course.”
The women’s road race will be contested on Sunday July 25 over a 137 km course with roughly 2,700 metres of climbing. It finishes at the Fuji International Speedway south west of Tokyo but is missing much of the exciting climbing that defines the men’s race.
Like Spratt, Dennis is competing in his third Olympics after racing in London and Rio. He’ll take part in both the time trial and the road race. Tour de France podium finisher Richie Porte (road race) returns for his second Olympics, and will be joined on the road by Cameron Meyer (also his second Olympics) and debutant Jack Haig.
“The Olympics is a massive career highlight for me,” Porte said. “You don’t take for granted to be selected for the team in a country like Australia as it has so many worthy guys to choose from. To just make the team, it’s a big honour.
“I think it’s going to be a fantastic Games; I look forward to just getting there and racing. I think it’s a fantastic course, it’s going to be hard, but we can aim to be up there for the podium.”
The men’s race will be held on Saturday July 24 and will be 234 km long with almost 4,900 metres of climbing. It includes several tough climbs, including an ascent partway up Mt. Fuji.
The AOC today also confirmed that Alexandra Manly had been added to Australia’s track team for Tokyo, joining the rest of the squad which was selected in March 2020.