New Zealand long list announced for UCI Road World Championships

BikeNZ has announced its long list of riders for the UCI Road World Championships to be held in Limburg, September 16-23.

The women's line-up is headed by Olympian Linda Villumsen, who finished just 1.8 seconds off the podium in the time trial in London and keen to add to her bag of world championship medals comprising bronze medals in 2010 and 2011 and silver in Copenhagen last year.

Villumsen, who has been in outstanding form for the Orica-AIS team this year, will also ride the road race with a trio of talented young Auckland riders, Emily Collins, Emma Crum and Kate Chilcott.

Crum, 23, has been riding with success for the French-based UCI team ASPTT Dijon-BCF, building on her stage win in the Tour of New Zealand in the summer.

Collins and Chilcott, both 21, have both raced in the USA this year for the Vanderkitten-Focus pro team where they notched up a number of podium performances with Collins also enjoying success in Europe this month, winning best young rider and finishing fifth overall in the Lotto Decca tour in Belgium.

Jesse Sergent (Radioshack-Nissan) and Sam Bewley (Orica-GreenEdge), who were bronze medallists in the team pursuit in London, will show their pursuiting talents in the team time trial at the Netherlands.

Sergent is joined by fellow Olympian Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp), Julian Dean (Orica-GreenEdge) and the RadioShack-Nissan pair of Hayden Roulston and George Bennett who will all be considered for the three spots New Zealand has qualified in the road race. Greg Henderson withdrew with injury.

"Form is a key factor at the end of a long season so we need to check with our key riders on their fitness including those who will come off the Vuelta a Espana," said Bike NZ's Andy Reid.

"Jack has had a long season and we will check out how Julian and Hayden rebound after the Vuelta," he continued.

"This is also a demanding course and we need to select a combination to best cover our options here."

Meanwhile Tom David, Josh Atkins and Tom Scully have been named for the under-23 road race, while Jason Christie will be joined by either Michael Vink or James Oram in the time trial.

David won Belgium's biggest amateur race this year, Atkins won the Tour of Southland on his way to a season with the Bontrager-Livestrong  outfit while Scully, bouncing back from a major crash three years ago, is currently riding as a stagiaire for Garmin-Sharp.

The BikeNZ teams are:
Elite men, road race (3 to be selected from): Jack Bauer, Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston, 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 plus one more from Michael Vink, James Oram

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