BikeNZ sends 'strongest ever' team to world championships

The New Zealand team has been finalised for next week's UCI Road World Championships in Limburg, The Netherlands, following the conclusion of the Vuelta a España.

In the men's road race, Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston and Jack Bauer have been selected with Jesse Sergent and Sam Bewley to compete in the individual time trial.

BikeNZ road manager Andy Reid said the team represented arguably the strongest ever overall quality to a world championship.

"We have six World Tour riders all in good form which is unprecedented for New Zealand," Reid said.

"We wanted to select on form and also cover all of our bases as best we can for the course in Limburg.

"Julian Dean has come out of the Vuelta back to some of his best form. He not only showed out in his lead-our role but also was very strong throughout the race, riding Simon Clarke back on to the bunch in a crucial stage in his successful campaign for the polka dot jersey.

"Hayden Roulston was in excellent form until his crash in the Vuelta but has recovered fully and very buoyant about his chances, while jack Bauer has been preparing specifically for this race.

"We have Julian should it be decided in a sprint, Hayden with his speed and ability to get over the lumps, while Jack can cover the break and has the strength to be there at the end.

"It is a demanding course and we feel this is a team stacked with talent with the ability to cover differing race scenarios.

"At the same time we have two outstanding pursuiters in Jesse Sergent and Sam Bewley to perform in the time trial.

"Overall it is an exceptional team and we are excited by it."

Sergent is first back-up for the road team and George Bennett second reserve.

Meantime, Linda Villumsen will be chasing her fourth-straight medal in the women's individual time trial.

In the men's Under-23 time trial James Oram, a medallist in the junior division last year, will join Jason Christie in the starting line-up after a strong showing at the Chrono Champenois time trial earlier this month. Michael Vink has withdrawn his bid for selection after suffering through ill health in recent weeks.

The BikeNZ teams are:
Elite men, road race: Jack Bauer, Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston. Reserves: Jesse Sergent, George Bennett.
Time trial: Sergent, Sam Bewley.
Elite women road race: Linda Villumsen, Emily Collins, Emma Crum, Kate Chilcott.
Time trial: Villumsen.
Under-23, road race: Tom David, Josh Atkins, Tom Scully.
Time trial: Jason Christie, James Oram.
Under-19, men's road race: Sean Hambrook, Hayden McCormick , Tom Vessey. Reserves: James Judd, Nick Bain.
Men's time trial: Bain, McCormick. Reserve: Vessey.
Women's road race: Sophie Williamson.


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