Sydney hosts final track World Cup

193 riders from 35 countries, including four reigning World Champions, are headed to Australia for the final found of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics Series being staged at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome from March 3-5.

The team to beat in Sydney will be the series leader, The Netherlands, headed by 2005 kilometre time trial World Champion and Olympic sprint silver medallist, Theo Bos. The Dutch team, who arrived in Sydney last week to prepare for the round, also boasts current keirin world champion, Teun Mulder and dual bronze medallist from last year's Los Angeles World Championships, Yvonne Hijgenaar.

Volodymyr Rybin of the Ukraine will come into the event wearing the rainbow jersey of world champion in the points race while his team mate Lyudmyla Vypyraylo leads the World Cup standings in the women's scratch race competition. The American team has benefited from recent competition at the Australian Track Cycling Championships, where reigning Christian Stahl claimed silver in the men's sprint and Jennie Reed picked up bronze in the women's sprint.

New Zealand's team will be using the event as final preparation for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games with Greg Henderson, the 2004 gold and 2005 silver medallist at the World Championships in the scratch race, a strong favourite. Vera Carrara, a past World Cup Series Champion in the points race, is currently racing in the Geelong Tour and will contest the Geelong World Cup on the road before flying to Sydney to join the Italian track team.

The French team will boast multiple World and Olympic medallist, Arnaud Tournant while reigning scratch race World Champion, Alex Rasmussen, will feature for Denmark.

The Sydney World Cup will also be the final hit out for Australians Ben Kersten, Anna Meares, Shane Perkins and Sean Finning before they line up in the Commonwealth Games ten days later in Melbourne.

The Australian Cyclones team boasts a host of gold medallists from the recent Australian Track Cycling Championships. 2003 junior world champion and newly crowned Australian elite points race champion, Miles Olman from Queensland will add his weight to the teams pursuit line up and team with fellow South - AIS team member, Simon Clarke for the Madison. Last weekend the pair claimed the Australian Madison Title in Melbourne.

500 metre time trial Australian Champion, Kristine Bayley, and junior rider Tess Downing, who claimed four gold and one silver at the Australian Titles earlier this month will feature in the women's events for Australia.

The countries competing are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Belarus, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Paraguay, Poland, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Uruguay and the United States of America.

Tickets to the Sydney World Cup are available through Ticketmaster - Tel: +61 1300 136 122 or at the venue.

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