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NZ cyclists throw golden gauntlet

31 Jan 06 00:51

New Zealand Cycling Champion Sarah Ulmer.

New Zealand Cycling Champion Sarah Ulmer.

New Zealand has named its biggest Cycling team ever, and has thrown down the challenge that they only want to take gold home from Melbourne.

The 33-strong squad of road, mountain bike and track cyclists will challenge for medals across all the Cycling events in Melbourne, and New Zealand’s national high performance director Michael Flynn says they won’t accept a second-place finish.

"We are not actually planning to win silver or bronze; we're going about our business to win gold, so if you want a prediction, that's what we're actually looking for," Mr Flynn told stuff.co.nz. "I believe with the strength of the athletes we've selected, and if we can bring them together as a team... the potential to win medals is as strong as it has ever been."

 

15 road cyclists, 12 track cyclists and 6 cross country mountain bikers have been selected, with some riders down to ride in both road and track events.

 

Among those making the challenge will be Olympic women's individual pursuit champion and world record holder, Sarah Ulmer, who will take to the road instead of the Multi-Purpose Venue track to ride the time trial and road race.

 

She’ll be joined by Gordon McCauley, returning from injury after a hit-and-run accident last New Year's Eve which saw him end up with a broken wrist.

 

"I will definitely be 100 per cent on March 21 when I race," said McCauley. "It's a bit of relief to be named, but I raced last week and everything seemed okay so I'm pretty hopeful of riding well."

 

And Hayden Roulston will contest the points race in an effort to make the team for the Beijing Olympics.

 

"It's a big call, but as I said gold in Beijing is something I've dreamed about,” Mr Roulston said. "There is always the weight on your shoulders, and to me the biggest objective is Beijing so the weight will be on till then, but in saying that the Commonwealth Games are a big, big objective of mine."

 

Defending points race champion Greg Henderson will also take to the track as part of the strong New Zealand team, racing on the road and in the scratch race.

 

The New Zealand Cycling Team includes:

 

Jason  Allen, Richard Bowker, Tamara  Boyd, Toni Bradshaw, Fiona Carswell, Timothy Gudsell, Justin Grace, Hayden Godfrey, Melissa Holt, Greg Henderson, Logan Hutchings, Michelle Hyland, Joanne Kiesanowski, Peter Latham, Gordon McCauley, Glen Mitchell, Robin Reid, Hayden Roulston, Marc Ryan, Nathan Seddon, Catherine Sell, Adam Stewart, Alison Shanks, Sarah Ulmer, Paddy Walker, Elizabeth Williams, Susie Wood, Clinton Avery, Sonia Foote, Rosara Joseph, Kashi Leuchs, Mike Northcott and Robyn Wong.

 

Cycling at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games will take place at the Multi-Purpose Venue (Track), State Mountain Bike Course (Mountain Bike) and the Botanical Gardens, Beach Road and the St Kilda Foreshore (Road) from 16 – 26 March.

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