Cycling Australia has announced two changes in its men's team for the world championships, Madrid, Spain, September 21-25; Brett Lancaster and Simon Gerrans will stand in for Rory Sutherland and Bradley McGee.
Sutherland is being replaced pending the result of testing on the 'B' sample after an 'A' sample from the recent Tour of Germany tested positive to a banned substance. Sutherland's professional team Rabobank released a statement over the weekend stating the substance was neither blood doping or EPO related. Cycling Australia says it has no more information at this stage and is awaiting further official notification from the UCI (International Cycling Union).
McGee has withdrawn from the team because of a back injury.
The two riders who will take their places are considerably more than last-minute stand-ins. Lancaster was a member of the Australian track pursuit team that last year claimed Olympic gold and set a world record. This year he won the prologue of the Giro d'Italia and therefore wore the race leader's pink jersey in the first road stage. Gerrans made a solid debut in the Tour de France this year, making it all the way to the finish in Paris and taking third place in the 17th stage.
Meanwhile, Australia's contenders for Wednesday's and Thursday's time trials have arrived in Madrid to finalise their preparations. Two time world time trial champion, Michael Rogers, will line up on Thursday to defend his crown in the 44km men's elite race. Ben Day, the 2003 Australian time trial champion, will also contest the time trial and arrived in Madrid Monday night local time.
In the women's time trial on Wednesday reigning world number one and recently crowned World Cup champion, Oenone Wood, and Athens Olympic road race gold medalist, Sara Carrigan will fly the flag for Australia while Tasmanian Mark Jamieson and Victorian Will Walker will start for Australia in The men's under-23 event on the same day.