Cycling Australia is pleased to announce the Cyclones team to contest the 2012 UCI Track World Championships being staged in Melbourne from 4 to 8 April.
The squad boasts eight defending champions amongst a wealth of experienced campaigners and young talent. A long team of 19 has been named but the men's track endurance squad will be trimmed by one before the final team of 18 arrives in Melbourne.
"Preparations have been going well and everyone has been working hard to be in top form for the championships," said Cycling Australia National Performance Director, Kevin Tabotta. "This is a rare opportunity for the team to race at the very highest level in front of a home crowd with family and friends in the stands to support them.
"To claim the rainbow jersey of world champion is a very special honour but the most important thing is for each and every member of the team to deliver their very best and I'm confident that will be the case in Melbourne."
Melbourne is also the major track event on the calendar between now and June when nominations for Olympic Games selection are lodged with the Australian Olympic Committee.
Reigning sprint and keirin world champion Anna Meares will be lining up in her tenth elite world titles on the same track where she won the 500 metre time trial in 2004 to claim her first rainbow jersey in senior competition. Kaarle McCulloch, with whom Meares has won the past three team sprint world titles, will join her to race the women's sprint events.
In the men's ranks 2011 keirin world champion, Shane Perkins will line up with Scott Sunderland and Matthew Glaetzer, in the team sprint. The trio set an Australian record in Kazakhstan in November at the opening round of the World Cup and at last month's London round, 19 year old Glaetzer rode the fastest last lap of the competition. The trio will also cover the keirin and sprint while Australian champion James Glasspool will race the kilometre time trial in his first senior world championships team.
Ashlee Ankudinoff is back in the team after injury derailed her bid for selection in 2011. She joins fellow 2010 pursuit world champion Josephine Tomic who along with Amy Cure and Annette Edmondson posted an Australian record on their way to the team pursuit bronze medal last month in London. Melissa Hoskins, who won the scratch race in London, completes the women's endurance line up.
Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard are set to defend their Madison crown and Meyer is also hoping to reclaim the points race title he relinquished last year. The remaining six named today, Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Michael Hepburn, Alexander Edmondson, Glenn O'Shea and Mitchell Mulhern, are vying for one of the remaining five places in the team.
Bobridge won gold in the individual pursuit at last year's world championships in the Netherlands and, along with Dennis, Hepburn and Luke Durbridge, won the team pursuit crown. Last month in London, Bobridge, Dennis, Hepburn and Edmondson combined to set the third fastest time in history to defeat Great Britain in the team pursuit but O'Shea and Mulhern have also performed strongly this season at other world cup events and remain in contention for a team pursuit berth. A final decision will be made by the end of the month.
2012 UCI Track World Championships - Cyclones Australian Team
Sprint GroupThe eight sprint events are team sprint, sprint, keirin and time trial for both men and women.
- Kaarle MCCULLOCH (Gymea Bay, NSW 20.01.1988) 2011 team sprint world champion
- Anna MEARES (West Richmond, SA [formerly QLD] 21.09.1983) 2011 team sprint, sprint and keirin world champion
- Matthew GLAETZER (Paradise, SA, 24.08.1992)
- James GLASSPOOL (Fairview Park, SA 08.06.1991)
- Shane PERKINS (Clayton South, VIC 30.12.1986) 2011 keirin world champion
- Scott SUNDERLAND (Waneroo, WA 16.03.1988)
Endurance GroupThe eleven endurance events are men's and women's team pursuit, individual pursuit, scratch race, points race and omnium plus the Madison for men.
- Ashlee ANKUDINOFF (Menai, NSW, 20.08.1990)
- Amy CURE (Penguin, TAS 31.12.1992)
- Annette EDMONDSON (Stirling, SA, 12.12.1991)
- Melissa HOSKINS (Lesmurdie, WA, 24.02.1991)
- Josephine TOMIC (Perth, WA, 09.06.1989)
- Jack BOBRIDGE (Evanston Park, SA, 13.07.1989) * 2011 individual and team pursuit world champion
- Rohan DENNIS (Vale Park, SA 28.05.1990) * 2011 team pursuit world champion
- Alexander EDMONDSON (Stirling, SA 22.12.1993) *
- Michael HEPBURN (Brookfield, QLD 17.08.1991) * 2011 team pursuit world champion
- Leigh HOWARD (Waurn Ponds, VIC, 18.10.1989) 2011 Madison world champion
- Cameron MEYER (Helena Valley, WA 11.01.1988) 2011 Madison world champion
- Mitchell MULHERN (Carseldine, QLD 22.01.1991) *
- Glenn O'SHEA (Ridleyton, SA [formerly VIC] 14.06.1989)