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NZ women return battered ahead of home tour

The New Zealand women's cycling team returned home yesterday in bad shape after taking a beating at the Geelong Tour and World Cup last week. The squad has just one day to heal the wounds from its Australian visit before lining up for the Tour of Wellington.

"We are pretty bruised and battered," New Zealand coach Susy Pryde told "Out of six athletes that rode in Geelong, four ended up crashing or being injured. We've got stitches, dislocations and cracked ribs."

Michelle Hyland returned to New Zealand with six stitches in her stomach, Marina Jduvnjak a dislocated shoulder, and Rushless Buchanan has suspected crack ribs, while Sarah Ulmer also has cuts and bruises following her involvement in a crash. Buchanan could yet withdraw from her home event following further examination of her injuries today.

"Sarah's back is obviously not 100 per cent, but she will be riding the Wellington tour," added Pryde. "It's a day to day thing for her, but it's often more inflamed if she has sustained power output."

Despite the squad's battering, Pryde expects the majority of the riders will be ready for tomorrow's start. The injured riders collectively make up the majority of both the Trust House and Samsung New Zealand teams.