BikeNZ has named its men’s long list for this month’s UCI Road World Championships in Geelong, Australia, with its big-named ProTour riders leading the charge for medals. Riders in contention for the elite men’s team include Julian Dean (Garmin Transitions), Hayden Roulston (HTC Columbia) and Greg Henderson (Team Sky), while former Dane Linda Villumsen and USA Cycling National Racing Calendar champion Cath Cheatley will lead the women’s squad.
“This is probably the strongest team overall that we have ever selected for the Road World Championships with potential medal opportunities,” said BikeNZ road programme sporting director Andy Reid.
New Zealand has qualified three riders to start in each of the men and under-23 road races and two in the time trial. The women have qualified six starters in the road race and two in the time trial and unlike the men’s team the roster has already been confirmed for the women.
“The selectors decided on a squad of six as our riders are still competing in a number of high profile races around the world and as we have seen at the Vuelta a Espana with Julian, injuries can occur in this sport,” said Reid. “We expect that our Pro-Tour riders will form the basis of this team if they make it through the next two weeks of racing with a clean bill of health.
“It was particularly challenging selecting the team because we have such a strong group of riders starting to come through as well as proven performers on the world stage.”
Joining Dean, Henderson and Roulston in the men’s squad is national champion Jack Bauer, US-based professional Jeremy Vennell and national time trial champion Gordon McCauley, who will ride in this event at the Commonwealth Games.
Elite men (three from): Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston, Greg Henderson, Jack Bauer, Jeremy Vennell and Gordon McCauley.
Time trial (two from): Gordon McCauley, Jeremy Vennell and Jack Bauer.
Elite women: Cath Cheatley, Linda Villumsen, Toni Bradshaw, Serena Sheridan, Emma Crum and Courteney Lowe.
Time trial: Melissa Holt and Linda Villumsen.
Under-23: Michael Vink, Jason Christie and George Bennett.
Time Trial: Michael Vink and Shem Rodger.