Mactier to make comeback

29 October 2010

Former world champion Katie Mactier is making a comeback to track cycling ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

Mactier has been building up her cycling fitness since March and will join a national track camp in Adelaide next month.

Her goal is be part of the Australian 3000m teams pursuit trio at the London Games.

Australia is the reigning women's teams pursuit world champion. Mactier won the 2005 world title in the individual pursuit and was one of the medal favourites for the event going into the Beijing Olympics.

But she had a disastrous Games two years ago and finished seventh as the Australian cycling team returned from China with only one silver medal.

Mactier married New Zealand professional cyclist Greg Henderson soon after Beijing and their daughter, Charlie, is 15 months old.

While she withdrew from competition after Beijing, Mactier made a point of not retiring and now feels ready to return to full-time training.

At 35, she should be hitting her peak as an endurance athlete.

"I just feel there's a little bit of unfinished business," Mactier told AAP.

"Particularly the women's teams pursuit, it's something that's always appealed to me.

"I obviously have a lot of ground to make up, but I'm looking forward to the hard work."

Mactier has kept in touch with women's track endurance coach Gary Sutton since he took up the post soon after the Beijing Games. The men's and women's individual pursuits are controversially no longer Olympic events.

But as part of the shakeup of the track program for London, the women now have the teams event.

Australia and Great Britain are expected to be two of the favourites for the women's event at the London Games.

Mactier said Australia has a strong women's track endurance squad of a dozen riders and competition for London spots will be fierce.

It is understood another former world track champion and fellow Beijing Olympian Kate Bates will also make a run at the London Olympics in the teams pursuit.

Josie Tomic, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Sarah Kent have formed the basis of the Australian team in the event and they won the world title earlier this year.

Roger Vaughan

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