The team that Australia will send to the 2015 UCI Track World Championships is on its way to Paris for the February 18-22 event.
The 20-rider roster, which includes five athletes who will be competing at the World Championships for the first time, will be led by by reigning world champions Alexander Edmondson, Amy Cure, 10-time world champion Anna Meares and three-time world champions Jack Bobridge and Glenn O'Shea.
The Australian team claimed three world titles (women's points, men's individual and team pursuit) at the 2014 championships in Colombia, and they took home eight medals in total.
“It's been exciting to watch the competition for spots leading into the final selection for this Australian team,” said National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta. “It demonstrates the great depth and quality of talent in our team for Paris, and gives encouraging signs for the future of Australian track cycling."
“As a team, our ambitions are lofty for the Worlds,” he said. “And pre-competition performance indicators are very encouraging as we head Tuesday to Paris.”
Meares will line up for her 12th championships. Another rainbow jersey for Meares would make her the most successful female track cyclist in history. She currently shares the honor with France’s Felicia Ballanger.
Matthew Glaetzer, a world champion in 2012, leads the men's sprint selections Tthe 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist is fresh off a record breaking national championships that saw him post the fastest-ever Flying 200m on Australian soil.
Shane Perkins will attend his ninth Worlds. The 2011 and 2012 world champion will be joined by three new riders to the world championships, including newly crowned keirin national champion Jacob Schmid and 2014 Commonwealth Games representatives Peter Lewis and Nathan Hart.
“Sprinters Peter Lewis and Matthew Glaetzer are recovering well from some bumps and bruises sustained in a heavy fall during the keirin at the National Championships last week, but they are both tough characters on a mission into Paris, and we expect them to be at full fitness well before race day,” Tabbot said.
The women's sprint team is rounded out by 2014 Commonwealth Games sprint gold medallist Steph Morton and three-time team sprint world champion Kaarle McCulloch, who returns to the team after a two-year battle with injury.
Dual reigning world champion Edmondson ,who will defend his individual and team pursuit crowns, will lead the seven-rider men's endurance team. All five members of Australia's 2014 team pursuit world champion line up will head to Paris, including O’Shea, Luke Davison, Mitchell Mulhern, and Miles Scotson (SA).
Bobridge, the 2010 and 2011 team pursuit world champion, returns after a three-year absence from Worlds to further bolster Australia's pursuiting efforts. Bobridge, world record holder in the individual pursuit, will line up in the team and individual pursuit and will partner with O'Shea in the Madison.
Scott Law will make his national team debut. The Sydney cyclist claimed silver and gold during the 2014/15 UCI Track World Cup series, his first international season of racing in four years.
Reigning points race world champion and triple 2014 medallist Amy Cure will headline a five-member women’s endurance squad that also includes seven-time World Championship medallist Annette Edmondson (SA).
They are joined by four-time World Championship medallist Melissa Hoskins, who broke through for her maiden individual national title in the points race in Melbourne last week, plus 2010 team pursuit world champion Ashlee Ankudinoff.
The quartet broke the Australian team pursuit record at a staged attempt in Melbourne one week ago and will be looking to end Great Britain's four year reign in the event.
Rebecca Wiasak will make her Worlds debut after contesting six straight World Cups over the past two years.
“This team represents the core of the athlete pool vying for the limited spots available for the Rio Olympics team in 2016,” Tabotta said. “After these Worlds, there will be just three World Cups and one World Championships for all athletes to qualify and stake a claim for selection.
“Since October 2014, we have been collecting points as a Nation and we are tracking well across all ten Olympic track events, but the competition for nations to qualify is intense and so its important we perform well here in Paris.”
2015 Australian Team: