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NZ and Australia set to do battle again in Colombia World Cup

The men's team pursuit combination (from left) Jesse Sergent, Marc Ryan, Sam Bewley and Aaron Gate.

The men's team pursuit combination (from left) Jesse Sergent, Marc Ryan, Sam Bewley and Aaron Gate. (Image credit: Envious Photography-BikeNZ)

New Zealand and Australia will field near full-strength squads for the upcoming Track World Cup in Cali, Colombia with both teams considering the event as vital for their preparation for next year’s Olympic Games.

The last World Cup in Astana saw the Australian’s perform strongly with an untested line-up, but tougher competition is expected in Cali.

New Zealand high performance director Mark Elliott said the event is one of the first times the top nations will be able to gauge their progress.

"Many of the leading nations will have full strength teams at Cali so it will provide a reasonable litmus test on how we stack up."

The event will also capitalise on a heightened level of ‘trans-Tasman’ rivalry between the New Zealand and Australia squads after the Kiwi team dominated the recent Oceania Championships in Invercargill. The New Zealand team pursuit teams were particularly impressive, with both setting the fastest times for a national squad in 2011.

"What New Zealand's women [and team as a whole] have done is throw down the challenge as they have now recorded the fastest time in the world this year," said women’s coach Gary Sutton.

"The pressure is building on riders vying for places in London but if they can't handle the pressure now they won't handle it next year."

The Cali Track World Cup takes place from December 1.

Australian team:

Annette Edmondson. Melissa Hoskins, Sarah Kent, Josephine Tomic, Rohan Dennis, Luke Durbridge, Michael Freiberg, Michael Hepburn, and Mitchell Mulhern

New Zealand:

Shane Archbold, Sam Bewley, Eddie Dawkins, Lauren Ellis, Aaron Gate, Joanne Kiesanowski, Ethan Mitchell, Marc Ryan, Jaime Nielsen, Jesse Sergent, Alison Shanks, Simon van Velthooven, and Sam Webster.

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