The starting line up for Australia in the women's road race at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games has been confirmed following the clean sweep in the road time trial on Tuesday.
The team includes TT winner Oenone Wood (ACT), as well as bronze medallist Sara Carrigan (QLD), 2006 Australian road champion and Comm Games points race gold medalist, Katherine Bates (NSW), as well as points race silver medalist Rochelle Gilmore (NSW), supported by experienced professionals Olivia Gollan (NSW) and Natalie Bates (NSW).
Not included in the squad is Kathy Watt, silver medalist in the time trial on Tuesday. Watt has expressed her disappointment to reporters at the Comm Games about being left out of the road squad.
The Commonwealth Games Australian Team office recently issued a statement explaining its selections.
"The decision was not an easy one because Australia is in the enviable position of having more world class women cyclists than we can put on the start line," said Australian cycling team road manager, Shayne Bannan. "That means unfortunately some riders have missed out and their disappointment is understandable because they all want to ride for their country at every opportunity.
"You have only to look at the calibre of the three riders who missed out, Kathy Watt, Katie Mactier and Alexis Rhodes, to realise how tough this decision has been."
"Wood, comes into the race as the world ranked number one, while Carrigan, the Athens Olympic Games road race champion, is a proven big race performer," said Bannan. "Gilmore has impressive credentials in World Cup and one day race competition and Kate Bates, who was third in the recent Geelong World Cup and claimed the Australian road race two months ago, is well suited to the flat, technical circuit.
"Rounding out the six are Natalie Bates and Gollan who have consistently delivered as reliable and tactically smart 'domestiques' for both for their European professional road teams and for Australia in international competition," said Bannan.
"This is a team that can win gold and one which the rest of the Commonwealth, quite rightly, should respect and fear."
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