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WorldTour riders headline 2017 New Zealand national championships

Cycling New Zealand have revealed the preliminary start list for the next month's national championships in Napier, confirming 2010 national champion Jack Bauer will make his Quick-Step Floors debut at the January 6-8 event. Jason Christie is also confirmed for the road race and will be aiming to defend the black and white jersey, as is 2015 champion Joseph Cooper.

Cannondale-Drapac's Paddy Bevin will forgo the defence of his national time trial title but last year's runner up and 2017 teammate, Thomas Scully, will take his place on the start line.

Orica-Scott's Sam Bewley, and Bora-hansgrohe's Shane Archbold will also be lining out in Napier with the ambition of winning a national title while George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) is a preliminary starter but is unlikely to start due to glandular fever.

Joining the WorldTour riders will be Aaron Gate in his first race for new Pro-Continental team Aqua Blue Sport, ONE Pro Cycling duo James Oram and Dion Smith. The U23 men's road race will be held simultaneously with the elite men;s race and will feature the likes of BMC Development's Sam Dobbs, Scott Ambrose (Team Novo Nordisk) and U23 mountain bike world champion Sam Gaze.

Two-time Olympic Games rowing gold medallist and multiple rowing world champion Hamish Bond will be contesting both the time trial and road race events as he makes the switch from the water to the road.

The time trial will be held on Friday, January 6 on Church Road Winery on a 40km course. The road race will be held Sunday, January 8 on a circuit around Marine Parade in Napier City over 169km.

Gordon McCauley holds the record for the most national road race titles with five and also leads the time trial table with three wins.

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