Kerrie Meares will try to shine at home
The Australian team announced for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Melbourne is a clear indication of generational change in Australian cycling. It's also a chance for Kerrie Meares, the older sister of Beijing silver medallist Anna Meares – who is taking a well earned break after her Olympic campaign – to take a step towards her objective of making the Australian team for the 2009 World Championships in Poland and stake her claim as a contender for London 2012.
The 26-year-old looked set for stardom when she won gold in the sprint and 500m time trial at the 2002 Commonwealth Games but was struck down by a back injury the following season, which derailed her bid for the Athens Olympic Games.
Meares is no longer a part of the Australian Institute of Sport program and has returned to Queensland to work with her old coach Peter Day, where she is aiming "to get back that horsepower I had in 2002."
It has been almost 12 months since Meares competed at such a high international level and she said she was excited about the Melbourne Track World Cup. "The past season I've been working really hard," Meares said. "I've gone back to basics focusing on getting my style and technique right and have worked on some fitness. Things are starting to look really positive for my career and I'm really looking forward to seeing how things go. After Melbourne we'll have a look at my times and the areas I need to focus on more."
With so much of Australia's attention focused on her younger sister, Athens Olympic gold medallist Anna, over the past four years Meares has taken the only approach she could in focusing on her own performance.
"I'm in the sport because I enjoy it and I want to do the best I can do," Meares said. "Anna has done some remarkable things and as a sister I'm really proud of her. It's great to train with her – how good to have a training partner who is World and Olympic champion and your sister."
The former Commonwealth champion will be riding the team sprint at the Melbourne Track World Cup with Emily Rosemond, with whom she won the Australian title this year. It's likely that Meares will also ride the sprint and keirin. Prior to coming to Melbourne Kerrie Meares will ride the Oceania Championships in Adelaide between 13 and 15 November.
The Australian 'Cyclones' team that will contest the Melbourne round of the 2008-09 UCI Track World Cup Classics being staged at Hisense Arena from 20 to 22 November is comprised of Ashlee Ankudinoff, Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Luke Durbridge, Mark Jamieson, Sarah Kent, Joel Leonard, Kerrie Meares, Cameron Meyer, Shane Perkins, Emily Rosemond, Chris Sutton and Josephine Tomic.