Brown and Clancy head to NSW Criterium Series

Olympic champions to battle against strong teams

Organisers of the NSW Grand Prix series have announced that dual Olympic champions Graeme Brown and Ed Clancy will be racing the series as solo riders against some of the toughest and most talented criterium teams in the world.

Brown, an accomplished road sprinter who claimed two gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games and has become one of Rabobank's mainstays, will be pitted against teams such as Sky, Garmin-Transitions, the Russian and New Zealand national squads and Fly V Australia.

Brown won the inaugural Cronulla Grand Prix in 2006 and finished third in last year's edition behind local exports Ben Kersten and Chris Sutton.

Clancy, the 25-year-old from Barsnley in England, is a classy rider who will never be too far from the front and has plenty of criterium racing experience as part of the ever-popular Tour Series in the UK and being the British national criterium champion this year.

An Olympic Games gold medallist in the teams pursuit at Beijing and multiple world champion, Clancy has made his mark in the past 12 months and is the current omnium world champion.

After fulfilling his role competing for Great Britain in the Track World Cup in Melbourne on December 4 Clancy will fly to Sydney to be part of the five-race series.

The NSW Grand Prix Series starts in Bathurst on December 8 with a twilight race, followed by Parramatta Park on December 9 before going under lights on December 10 in Gosford, with a course adjacent to Blue Tongue stadium.

On December 11, riders will race at Coogee in Arden Street with Network Nine televising two hours of live action from 2pm to 4pm before wrapping up the series on December 12 in Cronulla, with the action televised by Network Nine from 12 noon to 2pm.

80 cyclists are expected to take part in the series supported by Events NSW and the NSW Government with 20 internationals adding plenty of interest.

The women's events will be staged just prior to the five rounds of the men's competition when many of Australia's top cyclists take on international stars in the Honda Insight Women's Grand Prix.

Rochelle Gilmore, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist will have to compete against the very strong Virgin Blue team, a strong New Zealand contingent and some renowned international stars.

Gilmore won the Cronulla Grand Prix last year but played second fiddle to multiple national criterium champion Kirsty Broun the pervious year. Kate Bates, the winner of the 2007 Grand Prix at Cronulla, is on the comeback trail and has set herself for a big showdown as a member of the AIS team. She's a former world champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

Information can also be found on the website www.nswgrandprixcycling.com.au. For further information contact Phill Bates AM on (02) 9570 5556 or pbates@cycleclassic.com.au

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