The upcoming UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Melbourne from November 20 to 22 will see more than one Australian team in action. Team Toshiba will be testing a crop of young hopefuls in the heat of international competition as Australian cycling begins the road to London 2012.
Leading the charge will be Geelong's Leigh Howard and Bendigo's Glenn O'Shea. The two 19-year-olds recently returned from a successful stint in Europe that saw them finish fifth in the Madison at the opening round of the World Cup in Manchester and take wins at UIV Talents Cup events in Amsterdam and Munich.
"We are both really keen to do well in Melbourne in front of our home crowd so that will be a bit of extra inspiration for us," Howard said.
For Tasmania's Belinda Goss that extra inspiration should come from being so close to a big win having collected four silver medals and one bronze at World Cup events over the past two seasons plus a bronze medal in the scratch race at the 2008 World Championships.
"Silver is great but I'm just one off getting the gold which is what we're all trying to achieve so it's definitely a goal for this year,” Goss said. "I've prepared better this year than others. I've concentrated on my weakness, which is my endurance, so I've done a lot of work on my aerobic capacity and lactic acid tolerance. That way I'm not just relying on my sprint."
Having narrowly missed selection for the Beijing Games the 24-year-old said she definitely has a four-year plan aimed at London but is just trying to get everything right without getting too far ahead of herself.
In the men's sprint events Team Toshiba will be led by Canberra's Daniel Ellis who made his Olympic debut in Beijing where he finished fourth in the team sprint riding alongside Ryan Bayley and Mark French. With Bayley and French taking a rest the 20-year-old Ellis will get his first taste of the additional pressure that comes with being the team's main sprinter.
The complete Team Toshiba squad that will contest the Melbourne round of the UCI Track World Cup is comprised of Daniel Ellis, Zakkari Dempster, Leigh Howard, Leigh Howard, Glenn O'Shea, Scott Sunderland, Belinda Goss and Kaarle McCulloch. The team is currently in Adelaide fine tuning their form at the Oceania Championships held November 13 to 15.