Next week's Lion Foundation Oceania road and track championships in Wanganui, New Zealand, will be the largest ever, according to former national coach and organiser Ron Cheatley. Cheatley, who has been involved in cycling on a national and international level for many years, says that having six countries and over 220 riders at an Oceania road and track championships is much larger than normal.
Riders from New Zealand, Australia, Guam. Fiji, New Caledonia and Tahiti/French Polynesia will be represented. Included in the Australian team are double Olympic medallist Anna Meares, former world championship medallist Rochelle Gilmore, and dual Olympic medallist Ryan Bayley. Former world champion Kathy Watt is also competing.
Of the New Caledonian riders, young French sprint cycling star Herve Gane is the most notable, and according to French-based BikeNZ road coach Jacques Landry is definitely one to watch. According to Landry "He's fast! He will certainly test some of the local sprint riders and provide good competition in the events he races in."
New Zealand's team of 35 road and track cyclists includes national road champions Gordon McCauley and Sarah Ulmer, national men's time trial champion Robin Reid, U23 world championship time trial bronze medalist Pete Latham and two members of the current Junior World Champion team's pursuit team. As well as those selected to represent New Zealand, also competing will be the best available riders from within the ten cycling New Zealand centres, ensuring that strong fields will be present for all events.
The Oceania track championship events are being held November 30 - December 2 and the road championships on December 3-4.