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Olympic selection up for grabs at 2008 Australian titles

Darren Lapthorne (Drapac Porsche)

Darren Lapthorne (Drapac Porsche) (Image credit: Shane Goss)

Cyclists contesting the 2008 Scody Australian open road cycling championships at Ballarat, held in January, 2008 will have their eyes on selection for the Being Olympics next year.

The championships will serve as part of the nomination process for the Beijing Games, after they were extended to five days to comply with the Australian Olympic Committee nomination criteria.

Cycling Australia chief executive officer Graham Fredericks said Australian winners of the men's and women's open time trials and road races would gain entry into the initial squad for the Games.

"If the winner of the women's time trial on Wednesday, January 9, averages at least 44.7kms an hour on the 28km course, she will earn automatic nomination to the Australian Olympic Committee, provided she meets all other selection criteria," Fredericks said, stressing that Olympic team selection was conducted solely by the AOC.

Ballarat City Council Mayor Cr. David Vendy said he was delighted that the championships now carried upgraded status.

"Ballarat has had a long history of involvement in top class sport, and this reinforces the council's commitment to attract and support major cycling events," he said.

"Having races in Ballarat that impact on the nomination of riders for the Olympic Games will bring more cyclists and spectators here, together with increased media exposure, and will inject over two million dollars into the local economy."

The championships comprise road races and time trials for women, men and under 23 riders as well as a people's recreational ride on the popular Buninyong circuits in the City of Ballarat.

The Australian open road championships were held at Buninyong from 2002-2004, and returned again this year.

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