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Cyclones to cause a Spanish storm

8 March 2007

Expectation are high for Australia’s track cycling team at this month’s World Championships in Spain and prospects are looking good for Beijing 2008.

Cycling Australia high performance manager Kevin Tabotta believes the team is well placed to win plenty of medals in Majorca at the end of the month.

“The sprint group has taken another step up recently and (Head Coach) Martin Barras is very happy with the form his athletes are showing,” Tabotta said.

“The young riders are putting plenty of pressure on the older athletes and as a result there is improvement across the board. The training times and performances in camp indicate there will definitely be more medals won this year than at last year’s Worlds.”

Last year the priority was the Commonwealth Games and the result was a modest one gold, one silver and two bronze at the World Championships. But this year the 18-strong squad, spearheaded by inform Olympic gold medallists Ryan Bayley, Anna Meares and world record holder Katie Mactier, are well supported.

Mactier’s fellow track endurance team-mate Kate Bates is a strong medal chance in the points race. Promising youngsters Scott Sunderland, Cameron Meyer and Zakkari Dempster will play important pursuit roles.

Importantly for Beijing Tabotta is excited by the depth across the team.

“There are now six guys who weren’t at the Athens Olympics putting pressure on the professional riders who won the team pursuit gold,” Tabotta said.

“There are seven plus guys vying for the four sprinting spots and that will increase if Shane Kelly can get back to his best form. It is an exciting time with the Olympics fast approaching.”

The World Championships are held from March 29 to April 1.

Australian squad:

Katherine Bates (NSW), Ryan Bayley (WA), Kristine Bayley (WA), Peter Dawson (WA), Zakkari Dempster (Vic), Mitchell Docker (Vic), Mark French (Vic), Belinda Goss (Tas), Matthew Goss (Tas), Mark Jamieson (Tas), Ben Kersten (NSW), Joel Leonard (Vic), Katie Mactier (Vic), Anna Meares (Qld), Cameron Meyer (WA), Shane Perkins, (Vic), Scott Sunderland (WA), Phillip Thuaux (NSW).

Andrew Reid

Return to Beijing Bound

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