The Australian cycling team is riding on a wave of confidence, after taking home 18 medals on the track at the Commonwealth Games. Melissa Hoskins helped her teammate to gold in the scratch race and will be looking to bring the good feeling into the road events this week.
"We finished last night on such a high, especially with Matt [Glaetzer] finishing off the Keirin with a gold medal. It was fantastic and the team had such a good vibe and buzz. We want to carry that through," she told Cyclingnews from her base at the Athletes' Village. "I just hope that it finishes off on a high on Sunday.
"After racing the track and seeing two of my teammates succeed and being a part of that it would be awesome to walk away and have something to show for it. At the same time, not everybody can win."
The 23-year-old began her career on the track, but moved to the road when she joined Orica-AIS in 2012. The tight and twisty course could suit her, with the handling skills she's developed on the track, but the small climbs could prove to be her undoing. Hoskins has defined herself as a sprinter on the road, and if she can make it into a small group at the finish then she will be one of the favourites to take a medal.
The road race course will take the same route at the 2013 British national championships, which were won by England's Lizzie Armitstead. In both the men's and women’s events in 2013, the race was won from a break and Hoskins expects it to be more of the same.
"Doing seven laps of a circuit with climbs can be quite taxing towards the back end of a bike race. So I don't think it is a course that should be underestimated," says Hoskins. "I expect it to be aggressive and I don’t expect there to be a large bunch sprint. I feel like there will be small bunch sprint or a breakaway."
Hoskins is the only member of the Australian team to be riding both the track and the road, with other dual-discipline riders such as Annette Edmondson and Jack Bobridge choosing to stick to the boards. In the road race, Hoskins will be joined by teammates Chloe Hosking, who took bronze at the 2010 Games, Tiffany Cromwell, Gracie Elvin, Shara Gillow and Katrin Garfoot.
"We're all quite young and some people haven't been to a Comm games like myself," she tells Cyclingnews. "For us, I think it's going to be a massive learning curve and we're all going to be learning a lot, and I think our best thing is to band together."
Australia may be in the driving seat at the moment, but Hoskins is well aware that it won't be an easy day on Sunday. "I know that Lizzie will want to win," she says. "Canada and New Zealand have been riding really well and I've heard that their preparation for the road has been going well.
"There's always Scotland and the home country always managed to turn on the heat in any race and in any discipline. It will be pretty interesting to see how it unfolds and I'm really looking forward to it, and I think it will be a really great bike race to watch."