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Olympic medallists headline stellar Sydney World Cup field

8 November 2006

A stellar cast of Australian talent will saddle up to battle an international onslaught when more than 200 of the world's champion cyclists contest the opening round of the UCI World Cup Classics Series being staged at the Dunc Gray Velodrome from November 17th to 19th.

Twenty nine countries have so far confirmed their attendance but with hometown support and early World Cup points on offer the Australians will prove hard to beat.

Recently introduced changes to the UCI World Cup Series allow for professional track team entries, similar to the current set up for road and mountain bike racing, which means Australia will actually field two teams. The inclusion of the Australian 'Cyclones' National team and the SouthAustralia.com-AIS professional team means fans will not only have the chance to cheer on their heroes, they will also witness the feats of our emerging young stars with their sights set on the Beijing Olympic Games and beyond.

Olympic and Commonwealth Games dual gold medallist, Ryan Bayley, will spearhead the attack for the SouthAustralia.com-AIS team and is eager for early season success.

"I've been training really hard in preparation for this opening round and the quality of the field will be top class," said Bayley who will contest the sprint, keirin and teams sprint events. "I'm really looking forward to taking on the internationals."

Joining Bayley in pro team colours for the sprint events will be Commonwealth Games teammate Shane Perkins and reigning kilometre time trial Junior World Champion, Scott Sunderland. The team also boasts reigning teams pursuit World Champions Peter Dawson, Stephen Wooldridge and Mark Jamieson along with 3km Junior World Record holder Michael Ford and Australian Madison Champion, Simon Clarke.

The Australian Cyclones will be led by reigning Olympic and Commonwealth champion and 500m World Record holder, Anna Meares who'll be joined by three other Commonwealth Games champions, Kate Bates, Katie Mactier and Sean Finning, plus medallists Rochelle Gilmore and Kerrie Meares.

Mark French, Daniel Ellis and Joel Leonard will cover the sprinter's events for the team while Cameron Meyer, who this year scored three gold medals at the Junior World Championships in Belgium, heads the contingent of 'young guns' looking to step up to elite level.

Perth-based Meyer caused a sensation at the Junior World Championships this year.

Not only did he win three gold medals in 24 hours he was discharged from hospital following a crash to win his final gold in the team pursuit.

The 18-year-old is ready is excited to be racing the worlds best senior riders in Sydney.

“I’ll try and do the best I can to get a medal. It will be a learning experience as it’s my first senior World Cup but I always give myself a chance of winning,” he said from a team training camp in Adelaide.

Meyer will be pushing hard for a place in the team pursuit and other track endurance events as the Beijing Olympics approach.

Beijing Bound members can go in the draw to win three double passes to the final session of the Sydney World Cup by entering this simple trivia competition here. Or tickets can be purchased via the Cycling Australia website.


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