In a clear move to increase the transparency of rider selection for the elite and under 23 men's and women's national teams, Cycling Australia has appointed an additional independent member to each of the existing selection panels. Trade team directors Allan Peiper (Garmin-Barracuda), Kristy Scrymgeour (Specialized-lululemon) and Andrew Christie-Johnston (Genesys) will act as off-siders on the panels for the elite men, elite women and under 23 teams respectively.
Under the Cycling Australia charter, the organisation is obliged to fill the selection panel with the national performance director, the relevant head coach for the discipline, as well as at least two other board appointed selectors.
Kevin Tabotta (High Performance Director) is thus an automatic member of each panel, with Rik Fulcher and Brian Stephens the board's nominations to fill the compulsory independent slots. All three will sit on the selection panels for the three road teams, with the addition of Matt White (Men's Road Coordinator), Martin Barras (Women's Head Coach) and James Victor (Under 23 Head Coach/AIS director) in their respective disciplines.
Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks gave a vote of confidence in the current panel by reappointing the incumbents, but added that it could only help the panels to have another independent member.
"As I have said before we are very fortunate to have such experienced selectors who we know have the best interests of the sport at heart," said Fredericks. "All those appointed to the role are well qualified to apply the selection policy with the key objective of selecting teams that are best able to achieve results.
"Kristy is a former international cyclist and two time Australian champion who now heads Team Specialized - lululemon, one of the world's top professional women's teams. Andrew, on the other hand, plays a significant role in the development of talented young Australian riders through his role as Sports Director and co-owner of the Genesys Wealth Advisers team competing in the Oceania region.
"Both will be in prime positions to evaluate those vying for selection and we look forward to their input in the process."
Having come under some criticism after the omission of Mark Renshaw for last year's world championships today's announcement can only help to strengthen confidence in the selection process for future events, particularly the Olympic Games, and World Championships later this year.
Main selectors to sit on all panels
Kevin Tabotta, Brian Stephens and Rik Fulcher.
To be supplemented by:
Allan Peiper and Matt White
Martin Barras and Kristy Scrymgeour
Under 23 men
James Victor and Andrew Christie-Johnston