New Zealand announced its long list for the UCI Road World Championships today, topping the elite men's team with sprinters Greg Henderson (Team Sky) and Julian Dean (Garmin-Cervélo). The course in Copenhagen is expected to be more sprinter-friendly than in past years.
The Kiwis have three spots for the road race and two spots for the time trial for the elite men. Also in the list, presumably for the time trial, is Jesse Sergent (Radioshack), the winner of time trials in the Three Days of West-Flanders, Eneco Tour and Tour du Poitou-Charentes. Filling out the long-team are Jack Bauer (Endura Racing) and Jeremy Vennell (Bissell).
"There has been plenty of interest from riders to be considered for selection for the World Championships," said Bike NZ’s Road Director Sportif, Andy Reid. "Obviously we expect that Julian will be the leader of this team and we will be looking at the make-up of the other riders to provide the best possible support for Julian.
"We have taken into consideration performances during the year, athlete’s access to high level competition in the build up to the world championships and riders’ current form."
On the women's side, only two-time medalist at the world championships, Linda Villumsen (AA Drink-Leontien.nl), was nominated so far.
"Several other leading candidates like Rushlee Buchanan, Jo Kiesanowski and Alison Shanks are all involved in the track programme while the national road champion, Cath Cheatley is still recovering from injury," said Reid of the selection process.
"We have two riders competing in the Holland Ladies Tour and we will evaluate their form next week to determine if they are riding at a level that could provide support for Linda."
For the men's U23 team, Reid named James Williamson (Pure Black), George Bennett (Trek Livestrong), Tom David (UCS Crabbe Performance) and Jason Christie (NZ U23).
"We have three spots available for the road race and two for the time trial for the Under-23s and will make a final selection for the time trial following the UCI 1.2 category Chrono Champenois in France in two weeks as a final guide.
"Overall we believe we will have strong representation for the World Championships when we confirm the final line-ups at pre race registration."
Long list for New Zealand's world championship teams:
Elite men: (3 road, 2 time trial): Julian Dean Garmin Cervelo), Greg Henderson (Team Sky), Jack Bauer (Endura Racing), Jesse Sergent (Radioshack), Jeremy Vennell (Team Bissell).
Elite women: (3 road, 2 time trial): Linda Villumsen (AA Drink-Leontien.nl). (one or two riders may be added).
U23 men: (3 Road, 2 time trial available): James Williamson (Pure Black, Alexandra), George Bennett (Trek Livestrong, Nelson), Jason Christie (NZ U23, Ashburton), Tom David (UCS Crabbe Performance, Auckland)
Junior men (confirmed): James Oram (Auckland, road and time trial), Fraser Gough (Havelock North, road and time trial), Dion Smith (Auckland, road), Alex Frame (Christchurch, road), Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu, road).
Junior women: Georgia Williams (Auckland, time trial and road), Sophie Williamson (Alexandra, road).