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Gerrans to lead powerful nine-man squad in Valkenburg
Australian selectors have announced their line-up for the UCI Road World Championships which begin this Sunday 16 September in The Netherlands. The elite men’s road race team will be headlined by recent Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and Milan-San Remo victor Simon Gerrans.
Included in the nine-man roster is Allan Davis who will be the team's best hope if the race comes down to a bunch sprint. Davis won bronze at the World Championships in Geelong in 2010 and recently finished the Vuelta a España where he came close to a stage win on a number of occasions. He’s shown his form is on track for the road race in Valkenburg however the course appears to be suited to more of a classics-style rider.
After winning a stage and taking the Vuelta’s KOM classification, Simon Clarke is a significant inclusion. He could be one of the Australian team’s standout riders in a race which should suit his characteristics. It’s Clarke's third time riding in the elite team after making a stunning debut in 2009 where he was clearly one of the strongest riders in the team that helped Cadel Evans to win the world title. Similarly to Clarke, David Tanner is coming off a strong result at GP de Québec when he finished 19th.
After an enormous season which saw him ride all three Grand Tours, Adam Hansen will be one of the strongmen in the team. He has demonstrated his endurance and mental toughness to finish the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and the Vuelta in a single year.
Former U23 world time trial champion Luke Durbridge will line-up as one of the favourites for the individual test after taking out the TT on the way to the overall classification at Tour du Poitou Charentes. Cameron Meyer withdrew early from the Vuelta in order to prepare specifically for the team time trial with his Orica-GreenEdge trade team and should also be in the running.
Rohan Dennis, who will move to the elite ranks in 2013 with Garmin-Sharp may have timed his run to the World Championships to perfection. A win in the recent Chrono Champenois and Memorial Davide Fardelli time trials make him one of the big favourites for the 36km test against the clock.
A surprise omission from the U23 road team is Sam Spokes, the 20-year-old has shown his ability throughout the year and earlier in the season finished sixth in the U23 version of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Elite men road race: Simon Clarke, Allan Davis, Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge), Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol), Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Sharp), Michael Matthews (Rabobank), Richie Porte, Michael Rogers (Sky), David Tanner (Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank).
Elite men time trial: Luke Durbridge, Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge).
Elite women road race: Tiffany Cromwell, Shara Gillow, Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS), Gracie Elvin, Jessie Maclean (Jayco-AIS), Rachel Neylan ABUS Nutrixxion), Loren Rowney (Specialized-Lululemon).
Elite women time trial: Shara Gillow (Orica-GreenEdge).
U23 men road race: Nick Aitken, Rohan Dennis, Michael Freiberg, Damien Howson, Jay McCarthy (Team Jayco AIS), Adam Phelan (Drapac Professional Cycling).
U23 men time trial: Rohan Dennis, Damien Howson (Team Jayco AIS).
Junior men road race: Caleb Ewen, Bradley Linfield, Robert Jon-McCarthy, Nicholas Schultz.
Junior men time trial: Alex Morgan.
Junior women road race: Georgia Baker, Jessica Mundy, Allison Rice, Emily Roper.