Greg Henderson (Lotto Belisol) will lead a two-man men’s squad for New Zealand at the London Olympic road race. The single spot for the women's race was given to Linda Villumsen (GreenEdge - AIS) who will ride in her first Olympics - in New Zealand colours. She was chosen to represent Denmark at the 2008 Beijing Games.
It will be Henderson’s fifth Olympics after his debut at the 1996 Atlanta Games for the team pursuit.
"Henderson has been a form rider on the World Tour for the last three years, earning his first start in the Tour de France that begins this week, for his Lotto-Belisol team" said BikeNZ High Performance Director, Mark Elliott.
"Greg has been in the professional peloton for a number of years and his elevation to the Tour de France is arguably something he has deserved for the last two years. This will provide him with the ideal platform for the Olympic road race."
Henderson will be joined by 2010 NZ national champion Jack Bauer (Garmin - Sharp) who made the move up to the WorldTour this year. He rode in support of his team mate Ryder Hesjedal at this year’s Giro d’Italia, playing a vital role in the team time trial victory and finished 14th in the final individual time trial.
"Jack is an immensely talented athlete, a big, powerful rider whose abilities have been well and truly recognised by the top teams. Jack’s abilities are suited to this type of circuit where he will be required to play a key support role for Henderson. Added to that Jack is an accomplished time triallist and he is a top-15 prospect for London in that event."
The two-man team means a number of experienced riders including Julian Dean (Orica - GreenEdge) and Hayden Roulston (RadioShack - Nissan) will miss the Games. They are however, selected as reserves.
"Julian is coming back from a horrendous injury and it is a testament to his fortitude and commitment as a professional that he has recovered so quickly," while "Hayden is a world class rider who has been in excellent form this year for Radioshack Nissan Trek. However, just like the track programme we simply do not have the allocated spots to select more riders into the team."