Cycling Australia has announced the long teams for the 2012 UCI Road World Championships to be held in Limburg next month. Selections will be finalised by September 10, with the championships beginning six days later.
Australia has been allocated the following places in each category:
Elite Men - nine riders in the road race and two in the time trial.
Elite Women - six riders in the road race and two in the time trial plus Oceania Champion in each event if selected.
U23 Men - five for the road race and two for the time trial plus Oceania Champion in each event if selected.
Junior Men - three for the road race and two for the time trial plus Oceania Champion in each event if selected.
Junior Women - four for the road race and two for the time trial plus Oceania Champion in each event if selected.
Cycling Australia National Performance Director, Kevin Tabotta, says that the Limburg parcours has played a major role in long list selections.
"It's a solid world championship course," said Tabotta. "The 16.5km road circuit contains two climbs each lap including the famed 1200 metre long Cauberg that boasts a six percent gradient.
"The elite men's event also covers a hilly 100km loop prior to reaching the finishing circuits around Valkenberg so a tough day in the saddle is expected.
"We have athletes listed in the long teams for men, women and U23 men who have shown form in recent selective races and we believe we can compete with the best nations for results in both road and time trial events."
Winner of Stage 4 of the Vuelta a España, Simon Clarke could find himself more-closely watched as a result of his recent performance. The classics specialist also played a key role in protecting Cadel Evans when he won the world title in 2009.
Evans is set to undergo medical testing in Italy having struggled with form for much of the season. Most recently, he withdrew from the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado.
"If the testing goes as expected, Evans may return for the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal on Sept. 9 in Canada," said BMC team doctor Max Testa.
The full men's long list is: Clarke, Evans, Allan Davis, Luke Durbridge, Simon Gerrans, Adam Hansen, Heinrich Haussler, Michael Matthews, Cameron Meyer, Richie Porte, Michael Rogers, Rory Sutherland, and David Tanner. Durbridge has been named solely for the time trial while Meyer, Porte and Rogers have been named for both disciplines.
Meyer is unsure of his position in the team and currently racing the Vuelta, will be hoping to impress.
"I think the guys who through their hands up for the worlds will be guys like Simon Gerrans, Cadel Evans, Richie Porte, Mick Rogers," he told Cyclingnews on Monday. "They have really gotten the results on the board this year and can really lead the Australian team at the worlds.
"I'd love to get selected to play a support role for one of those guys at the worlds. I think over the next couple of weeks I still need to prove myself and show that I'm good enough to be able to help those guys out."
The elite women's long team appears strong with Tiffany Cromwell, runner-up at GP de Plouay-Bretagne, and Carlee Taylor who finished third overall at the Route de France Feminine both named. National and Oceania time trial champion Shara Gillow has been named for both disciplines, as has Taryn Heather, with Alexis Rhodes the other Australian rider to race against the clock.
The full women's long list is: Cromwell, Gracie Elvin, Gillow, Rochelle Gilmore, Heather, Joanne Hogan, Chloe Hosking, Melissa Hoskins, Jessie Maclean, Rachel Neylan, Loren Rowney, Rhodes, Carla Ryan, Amanda Spratt, and Taylor.
The Tour de l'Avenir will go a long way to deciding the final line up of the men's under 23 team with prologue winner Jay McCarthy, Adam Phelan, Michael Freiberg, Sam Spokes, Patrick Lane and Nick Aitken all currently racing in the prestigious French race. Also named on the long list to ride in dual disciplines is national under 23 road champion Rohan Dennis, who has announced he will ride for Garmin-Sharp in 2013, and Oceania under 23 time trial champion Damien Howson.
Junior teams were selected in July with Georgia Baker, Jessica Mundy, Allison Rice and Emily Roper selected for the women while Caleb Ewan, Bradley Linfield, Robert-Jon McCarthy, Alex Morgan and Nicholas Schultz named for the men.