Cycling Australia has announced a 41-member team to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow across multiple disciplines that contains several national, world and Olympic champions. 24 males and 17 females will contest the disciplines of track, road and mountain bike for Australia and for the first time, tandem Para-cycling track events.
Anna Meares will make her fourth appearance at the games which equals Kathy Watt for most appearances by an Australian cyclist.
Australia won 21 medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, 14 of which were gold, and while there are 32 Games debutants, CEO of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association Perry Crosswhite is looking forward to the racing in Glasgow.
"The success of our cycling team in Delhi was phenomenal and made a significant contribution to our medal tally," Crosswhite said. "We realise the competition will be tougher in Scotland, but this is a strong team and we expect it will do well."
Kevin Tabotta, National Performance Director of Cycling Australia, is expecting stiff competition to match the 2010 tally but is confident in the riders who have been selected.
"Our team is flush with experienced world, Commonwealth, Paralympic and Olympic Games champions and medallists," Tabotta said. "Glasgow will surely be our greatest challenge with a superb depth of field, so the quality of competition will be first-rate and our team is preparing hard to challenge for podium spots."
For the men’s 168km road race, 12-laps of a 14km course on the Northern banks of the River Clyde, a well-rounded seven-member of versatile riders. Simon Clarke, the winner of the 2014 Herald Sun Tour and seventh in last year’s world championships is joined by Mark Renshaw who won gold on the track in 2002; along with 2010 time trial bronze medallist Luke Durbridge; reigning time trial national champion Michael Hepburn; and Rohan Dennis, who finished second overall at recent Tour of California, all return for their second Games.
Making their debuts in Glasgow are Nathan Haas, who recently finished his first grand tour at last month's Giro d'Italia, and dual under-23 national champion Caleb Ewan who joins Orica-GreenEdge as a stagiaire later this season.
The six-member women's road team contains reigning national road champion Gracie Elvin, Oceania time trial champion Shara Gillow and 2010 Games bronze medallist Chloe Hosking. Tiffany Cromwell, Katrin Garfoot round out the team with Melissa Hoskins – who will also ride the track in Glasgow.
Men: Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp), Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Caleb Ewan (Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy), Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp), Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge) and Mark Renshaw (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
Women: Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized-lululemon), Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS), Katrin Garfoot (Jayco-AIS Women's Endurance Squad), Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS), Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products) and Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS).
The six-member Mountain bike team will be led by dual mountain bike Olympian Daniel McConnell, who is the number one ranked rider in the Commonwealth and fourth in the current world cup rankings. Rebecca Henderson leads the women’s team having impressed as a first year elite world cup rider following on from her U23 overall world cup series win in 2013.
Also selected on the team is Wiggle-Honda’s Peta Mullens, Tory Thomas, Andrew Blair and Cameron Ivory.
Men: Andrew Blair, Cameron Ivory and Daniel McConnell.
Women: Rebecca Henderson, Peta Mullens and Tory Thomas.
The Australian track team contains a mix of experienced and youthful riders who are familiar with success on the velodrome in both sprint and endurance events. Leading the team is triple 2010 Commonwealth gold medallist Anna Meares, who has the opportunity to surpass Watt as Australia's most successful cyclist if she wins a medal.
2010 sprint gold medallist Shane Perkins becomes the eighth Australian male cyclist to have contested three Games, while 2012 Olympian Matthew Glaetzer makes his debut. Fellow debutants Stephanie Morton, Nathan Hart and Peter Lewis complete the track sprint team.
A multi-talented men's track endurance squad features dual reigning world champion Alexander Edmondson, 2014 team pursuit world champions Glenn O'Shea, Luke Davison and Miles Scotson and dual 2010 gold medallists Jack Bobridge and Scott Sunderland.
The women's track endurance squad features reigning points world champion Amy Cure, four-time reigning national and 2014 world championship medallist Annette Edmondson, and Hoskins.
Endurance men: Jack Bobridge, Luke Davison, Alexander Edmondson, Glenn O'Shea, Miles Scotson, and Scott Sunderland.
Endurance women: Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson and Melissa Hoskins.
Sprint men: Matthew Glaetzer, Nathan Hart, Peter Lewis and Shane Perkins.
Sprint women: Anna Meares and Stephanie Morton.