Sprinters head to Melbourne for International Track Series Rio Olympic warm up event

International field of riders expected for June meet

Spearheaded by Anna Meares and Matthew Glaetzer, Australia's top track sprinters will head to Melbourne later this month for a final warm up event before August's Rio Olympic Games. There will also be international representation with Hong Kong's Sze Lee, Malaysian Azizul Awang, New Zealander Matthew Archibald and Australian-based Irish rider Shannon McCurley named as starters.

The International Track Series is a UCI category 1 ranked event to be held in the DISC Velodrome over five days from June 22-26.

"Australia's best are eagerly approaching ITS as it not only provides an intense winter racing opportunity on home soil, but for many it is the first chance to test their legs in international competition since March's World Championships," said Kevin Tabotta, National Performance Director of Cycling Australia's High Performance Unit.

There is added significance with the ITS event providing riders with a final opportunity to press their case for selection before the team for Rio is announced in July 5.

"But most importantly, ITS Melbourne is an integral component of many athlete’s greater preparation plans for Rio," added Tabotta. "ITS will enable a number of athletes and coaches to rehearse and refine race day strategies, while for others it provides an additional opportunity to get a timed performance on record ahead of the performance cut-off date. "

Tabotta added that as the DISC velodrome is similar to the Rio track there is "extra preparation value" to racing ITS.

Other riders to race the ITS include Pat Constable, Jacob Schmid, Stephanie Morton, Kaarle McCulloch and Shane Perkins who is making a case for selection having missed the Track Worlds in March of this year.

Racing starts on June 22 with two days of sprint and endurance events and continues across the weekend with sprints, keirins, omnium and 80th running of the 'Melbourne Cup on Wheels'.

With the sprint team headed to Melbourne, several members of the women's endurance squad are currently training in Rockhampton, Queensland while the men's endurance squad is set to head to Arizona for a training camp in preparation for the Rio Olympics.

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