On Monday, the Commonwealth Games Council for England has announced a 25-strong cycling team for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne held from March 15-26, including many Olympic, World and Commonwealth medallists.
The team includes Bradley Wiggins, who struck gold in the men's individual pursuit at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and also completed a full set of medals by winning a silver (team pursuit) and a bronze (Madison) in Athens.
Jason Queally, gold medallist in the kilo time trial at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, is likely to renew his rivalry with Scot Chris Hoy in that event, subject to Hoy's section for Scotland. Hoy won the 1km title in Athens and pipped Queally to gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. But Queally took silver ahead of Hoy at the World Track Championships in Los Angeles in March.
Queally and Jamie Staff the former BMX World champion who trains in the USA and is also selected for Melbourne - struck gold in the team sprint in Los Angeles, along with Hoy.
England can also field the team pursuit quartet that won gold at the World Track Championships Steve Cummings, Rob Hayles, Paul Manning and Chris Newton all feature in the team for Melbourne. Victoria Pendleton, winner of the women's sprint title at the 2005 World Track Championships in Los Angeles, returns to Commonwealth Games action in Melbourne, after just missing out on the medals in Manchester.
England also have strong medal hopes in the mountain biking event in Melbourne. Liam Killeen won bronze as a 20-year-old at Manchester 2002, his first senior international event. He finished fifth at last year's Olympics and was the highest placed Commonwealth rider in the mountain bike event at the 2005 World Cup Series, finishing ninth overall.
The England cycling team will also feature several promising young cyclists who medalled at last year's Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo. Ian Stannard won gold in the men's time trial, with Nikki Harris winning gold in the women's mountain bike event, while Matthew Crampton, Amy Hunt and Ben Swift were also in the medals in Bendigo.
England's cyclists won five silver medals and six bronzes at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.
The full England cycling team for Melbourne is:
Oli Beckingsale, Ed Clancy, Matthew Crampton, Steve Cummings, Stuart Dangerfield, Emma Davies Jones, Russell Downing, Charlotte Goldsmith, Nikki Harris, Rob Hayles, Rachel Heal, Wendy Houvenaghel, Amy Hunt, Liam Killeen, Paul Manning, Chris Newton, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Queally´, Simon Richardson, Robin Sharman, Jamie Staff, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Andrew Tennant and Bradley Wiggins.
For further information, check the Commonwealth Games Council for England website at www.cgce.co.uk
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