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New Zealand faces challenge on "brutal course"

There are two big climbs on each lap of the course in Stuttgart, which Bike New Zealand road coach Jacques Landry rated in the top ten of the toughest ever for world championships.

The New Zealand team will have two riders, Sam Bewley and Clinton Avery, in the opening U23 men's time trial. Clinton Avery, Sam Bewley, Alex Meenhorst and Michael Torckler will contest the road race.

Most attention will focus on the six-strong women's team that takes part in the 134-kilometre road race on Saturday, where Canterbury rider Jo Kiesanowski is the best chance of success. "Jo will be the rider we will be looking to support and protect – and see if the team can work her up into a position to challenge later in the race," Landry said. The dark horse may be Rosara Joseph who makes her debut after a brilliant fifth placing in the recent mountain bike world championships.

Currently the women are ranked 17th in the world and if they can work their way in to the top 15 by June next year, they will secure another spot for Beijing. The rest of the team is comprised of Toni Bradshaw, Michelle Hyland and Carissa Wilkes.

The men's team are without national champion Julian Dean and former world points race champion Greg Henderson, both recovering from injury. The three strong men's team includes European-based professionals Glen Chadwick and Jeremy Vennell along with Ashburton's Hayden Roulston.

"It's going to be a big job for the men. It is a very tough race with 14 laps and 267 kilometres of hard riding and it will perhaps be a case of survival and see if we can launch someone into the top 30." National champion Chadwick joins Gordon McCauley to contest the time trial.

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