Cycling Australia has announced the men and women representing Australia in the cycling events at the 2010 Commonwealth games in October.
Headlined by 2004 Olympic and reigning Commonwealth Games champion Anna Meares, and defending men’s road race champion Mathew Hayman, the team is aiming to replicate their dominant performance on both the road and track at the Melbourne 2006 Games and the UCI World Track Cycling Championships where they finished as the number one ranked country with six gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
Brothers Cameron and Travis Meyer on the track join road team member Chris Sutton, whose father Gary and uncle Shane won gold in the teams pursuit at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada in 1978.
On the track, world champions Ashlee Ankudinoff (teams pursuit), Kaarle McCulloch (team sprint), Meares (500m time trial & team sprint), Josephine Tomic (teams pursuit), Jack Bobridge (teams pursuit), Michael Hepburn (teams pursuit), and three-time champion at this year’s world titles Cameron Meyer (teams pursuit, points race & madison) have all been included in the team that will be searching to beat its seven gold medals from Melbourne.
Indicating the generational change underway in Australian track cycling, Delhi will serve as the Commonwealth Games debut for the majority of the team with 2006 team sprint bronze medallist and 2010 world championship sprint silver medallist Shane Perkins joining Meares (who will suit up for her third Games) as the only riders to have previously lined up in the Australian colours at a Commonwealth Games.
The Meyer brothers become the fourth sibling combination to be selected for Delhi, following the selection of wrestling pair Farzad and Mehrdad Tarash, badminton brother and sister combination Raj and Renuga Veeran and boxing twins Andrew and Jason Moloney.
At 18, world junior 3000m record holder Dale Parker is the youngest rider on the team. At the other end of the spectrum, two-time world cup keirin silver medallist Jason Niblett will be the oldest track rider at 27.
The road events in Delhi will take place hot on the heels of the UCI Road World Championships in Melbourne and Geelong and Australia will again field a line up full of gilt-edged quality. Defending road race champion Mathew Hayman will be joined by super sprinters Allan Davis, Chris Sutton and Mark Renshaw. Tasmanian Richie Porte joins the team after a stunning performance at the Giro d’Italia that included three days in the leader’s jersey and the overall win in the best young rider classification. Porte is expected to be joined in the time trial by members of the track endurance squad.
The women’s road team will be led by 2006 Games representative and women’s world cup winner Rochelle Gilmore, who will have high hopes of repeating the Melbourne road race win of Natalie Bates. Alexis Rhodes, who competed on the track in Melbourne, will this time turn her attention to the road events.
Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Perry Crosswhite said the cycling team is as strong as any that has ever represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games.
“The weight of seven current world champions is huge and the recent performances of the Australian track team will mean we enter the Dehli Commonwealth Games in a strong position and as a feared unit by competing nations,” Crosswhite said. “We know the nation loves to watch Anna Meares compete in the Australian colours and we hope she can add to her already full set of Commonwealth Games medals.
“It is also exciting to provide so many talented athletes their first chance to compete in an Australian Commonwealth Games team.”
“Of course we have high expectations because we are going to Delhi with quality athletes so we expect quality performances,” said Cycling Australia High Performance Manager, Paul Brosnan. “On the track we have a lot of depth and whilst there are some with Games experience it’s a predominantly young team.
“We expect New Zealand will be very strong and although the UK teams might have some big names missing they will use that chance to expose their youngsters to this level of racing. That’s also good for us to be able to go up against some new talent and see where their program is headed.
“Canada comes into Delhi as a team on the move as well with some strong development in their ranks over the past year or so.”
The Australian track cycling team won seven gold medals, five silver and three bronze medals, whilst the road team collected clean sweep of four golds along with three silver and two bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
2010 Commonwealth Games Cycling Team
Men’s Track Sprint
Daniel ELLIS (ACT)
Jason NIBLETT (VIC)
Shane PERKINS (VIC)
Scott SUNDERLAND (WA)
Men’s Track Endurance
Jack BOBRIDGE (SA)
Michael FREIBERG (WA)
Michael HEPBURN (QLD)
Cameron MEYER (WA)
Travis MEYER (WA)
Dale PARKER (SA 12)
Allan DAVIS (QLD)
Mathew HAYMAN (NSW/ACT)
Richie PORTE (TAS)
Mark RENSHAW (NSW)
Chris SUTTON (NSW)
Women’s Track Sprint
Kaarle MCCULLOCH (NSW)
Anna MEARES OAM (SA)
Emily ROSEMOND (QLD)
Women’s Track Endurance
Ashlee ANKUDINOFF (NSW)
Megan DUNN (NSW)
Belinda GOSS (TAS)
Josephine TOMIC (WA)
Ruth CORSET (QLD)
Rochelle GILMORE (NSW)
Chloe HOSKING (ACT)
Carly LIGHT (SA)
Alexis RHODES (SA)