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The New Zealand Under 23 team competing at the 2011 Tour of Toowoomba
Sergent a dark horse in the time trial
BikeNZ has announced its team for the World Championships in Copenhagen, with Greg Henderson (Sky) and Jack Bauer (Endura Racing) to ride in support of captain Julian Dean (Garmin-Cervelo) in the 266km road race.
Dean, who has worked as a lead-out man for Tyler Farrar and Thor Hushovd over the years will hope that he can take advantage of the work of teams like Australia, Belgium, Italy and Germany in the race and then play his card in the expected bunch dash.
Team director Andy Reid said that with growing numbers of riders in professional teams overseas, the final decision this year was harder than ever, particulalry the omission of Hayden Roulston (HTC-Highroad).
"It was certainly difficult. The course was also a key factor in our selections, with the race likely to favour the sprinters," said Reid.
"Julian and Greg are world class sprinters who have had excellent success this year. We needed a strong rider on flat circuits to ride for them, have the potential to ride down breaks and do the donkey-work.
"Jack Bauer has proved he is extraordinarily strong and all three have been in top form this year."
In the time trial Jesse Sergent, one of the hottest prospects to come out of New Zealand in many years, will line up alongside Bauer who is riding both disciplines. Sergent has had an impressive 2011, recently picking up the overall win in the Tour du Poitou Charentes, and has to be considered an outside chance for a medal.
For the women's road race and time trial Linda Villumsen will be the team's sole representative.
Elite Female: Linda Villumsen (AA Drink-Leontien.nl).
Elite Male: Jack Bauer (Endura Racing), Julian Dean (Garmin Cervelo), Greg Henderson (Team Sky), Jesse Sergent (Radioshack).
U/23 Male: George Bennett (Trek Livestrong), Jason Christie (Ashburton), Tom David (UCS Crabbe Performance), James Williamson (Pure Black Racing)