Cycling Australia has announced the 19 riders who are eligible for selection in the final squad for the UCI Track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, from March 24 to 28.
Following their blistering performances in the individual pursuit at the recent Australian national track championships, Jack Bobridge heads the 'long team' of riders, with the man who took second in that event, Rohan Dennis, also featuring amongst the selection.
Bobridge rode an incredible time of 4:14.427 in qualifying for the individual pursuit, the fastest time not utilising the now-banned 'Superman' position. Dennis was just as impressive, clocking 4:15.764, both times putting the pair in a good position to be selected for the final squad on March 13
Meanwhile, sprint stars Anna Meares and Shane Perkins, who sat out the national titles courtesy of fatigue and injury respectively, were named in the long squad, with each expected to board the plane to Copenhagen in March.
Talented Queenslander Michael Hepburn is the youngest rider to be selected for the long squad and stands a good chance of making the final cut, the 18-year-old impressing with his versatility at the national titles, in addition to his time of 4:22.163 for the men's individual pursuit, the first time he had ridden the longer distance of four kilometres in competition since moving up from the junior ranks.
Competition for the men's endurance places will be fierce, with Luke Durbridge also making the long list for his first senior track world championships, having represented Australia at two junior worlds campaigns over the past two years.
The Australian 'long team' for the UCI Track World Championships:
Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Luke Durbridge, Daniel Ellis, Michael Hepburn, Leigh Howard, Cameron Meyer, Travis Meyer, Jason Niblett, Shane Perkins, Scott Sunderland, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Megan Dunn, Belinda Goss, Sarah Kent, Kaarle McCulloch, Anna Meares, Emily Rosemond, Josephine Tomic