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Anna Meares (Australia) celebrates her victory in the women's sprint.
Australian skipping national title challenge
There’s no major concern over Anna Meares’ health despite the rider skipping this week’s Australian Track Championships, according to Australian Institute of Sport’s top cycling coach Shayne Bannan. Meares has sat out of the national titles race after blood work done before last month’s Track World Cup round in Beijing, China revealed she’s feeling the impact of a heavy training block.
Meares is expected to return in time for the International Cycling Union (UCI) Track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark in early March.
"She had the tests prior to the Beijing world cup meet," Bannan told SMH.com.au. "It's nothing to be majorly concerned about, but knowing that the world championships are only eight weeks away you try to take the risk factor out, which is what we're doing.
"Anna loves riding in the national championships and it's her opportunity to represent Queensland as well, so she's really disappointed, but it's about the big picture," he added.
Sitting out this week’s race means Meares won’t defend the her national championships in the sprint and time trial. Meares last missed the Australian championships in 2008 when a serious injury sustained at the Los Angeles Track World Cup prevented her from starting the race, before she made a sensational return to claim silver at the Beijing Olympic Games later that year.