Australians warned: it’s not only about beating Great Britain

Cycling Australia's National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta has told his athletes that getting swept up by the Australia versus Great Britain rivalry that infiltrates any sporting battle between the teams could be detrimental.

With Matt Goss and Simon Gerrans chasing down Mark Cavendish in the men's road race; Amanda Spratt and Chloe Hosking doing their best to deny Nicole Cooke a repeat gold medal in the women"s road race; along with the fierce battles in the velodrome the arm-wrestle against two genuine powerhouses of world cycling is sure to be a highlight of the London Olympic Games.

Tabotta told the Herald Sun that Great Britain has "some extraordinary athletes" at their disposal over the next fortnight.

"There are no surprises that they will come out swinging in London with the best they have got," he said. "The key is for [us] to come out with our best and whatever that returns at the end of the day, that is what we can do.

"But if we concentrate on one team we are not concentrating on our own job, and some nations like Germany will be very competitive as you saw at the worlds.

"The Olympic Games will provide a level of intensity that a world championships doesn't."

Australia topped the medal tally at the end of the UCI Track World Championships in April with a total of 15 medals to Great Britain's runner-up performance with 13. Both teams secured a championship-best of six gold medals. Tabotta said that while he was impressed with Australia's performance, it was merely a stepping stone to August 2 when the track cycling program begins.

"Now we are in Europe and there are a lot of factors that come into play," he explained. "We don't think about the worlds as being our god-given right to London, we have to go in and fight tooth and nail for results in London and we will take nothing for granted."


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