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Worlds Country Preview: Australia
 
By Jaime Nichols
Date: 10/5/2002
Worlds Country Preview: Australia
 

Australia takes a full, 12 man team to the World Championships for the first time, due to having achieved a world top ten nations rating with the UCI, which speaks to a depth of talent that is growing every year. Australia dominated the World Track Championships, and Australia is poised to follow that performance up with Road Race top honors with a strong team that can answer to any challenge they might encounter in Zolder.

The men's team includes Robbie McEwen, who distinguished himself as 2002 Tour de France sprint champion, snatching sprint after sprint from World number on rider Eric Zabel, and a strong field, as well as Tour de France stage Winner and world individual pursuit champion, Brad McGee. Talented young gun Baden Cooke and 2002 Commonwealth Games road race champion Stuart O'Grady and US Pro Cycling Tour Champion Henk Vogels make the Australian team a formidable sprinting power, which should serve them well on Zolder's pancake flat course.

McEwen, who is currently ranked 4th in the world, Cooke, McGee and Vogels have all shown evidence of strong late season form. They will be supported by a formidable back-up squad including riders such as Matt White of USPS, Michael Rogers of Mapei - no slouches. Scott Sunderland, scheduled to compete, has been forced to withdraw from competiton due to injury. He will be missed, but with a strong, and deep team, Australia's Elite Men's team has it's best chance ever of taking the World prize in Zolder.

For the men's elite road time trial Michael Rogers and Nathan O'Neill will carry Australia's hopes. Missing here is Cadel Evans, who took Gold in the Commonwealth Games for the time trial, and silver in the road race. Evans was unavailable for selection due to illness.

For the U/23 men's road race 2002's team pursuit World Champion Mark Renshaw will leave the track and take to the road, and Simon Gerrans, who won a stage of the Swiss GP Tell tour last month has shown good form as well.

For the women's road race, with Anna Millward out of contention, and recovering from an injury, Australia sends a young, developmental squad. Rochelle Gilmore, 2002's scratch silver medallist should be able to contest a sprint if she's in the right place at the right time.

Austalian Team for the Worlds: Men

Elite Men's Road Race

Baden Cooke (Fdjeux.com)
Nick Gates (Wiesenhof Leipzig)
Matt Hayman (Rabobank)
Robert McEwen (Lotto Adecco)
Brad Mcgee (FDJeux.com)
Stuart O'Grady (Crédit Agricole)
Nathan O'Neill (Ceramiche Panaria)
Michael Rogers (Mapei-Quickstep)
Henk Vogels (Mercury)
Matt White (US Postal)
Matt Wilson (Fdjeux.com)

Elite Men's Time Trial

Nathan O'Neill (Ceramiche Panaria)
Michael Rogers (Mapei-Quickstep)

Senior Women 's Road Race

Sara Carrigan (QLD)
Rochelle Gilmore (NSW)
Olivia Gollan (NSW)
Emma James (NSW)
Margaret Hemsley (ACT)
Hayley Rutherford (WA)
Alison Wright (ACT)

Senior Women's Time Trial

Sara Carrigan (QLD)
Alison Wright (ACT)

U/23 Men's Road Race

Gene Bates (SA)
Simon Gerrans (VIC)
Dave Pell (VIC)
Mark Renshaw (NSW)
Rory Sutherland (ACT)

U/23 Men's Time Trial

Rory Sutherland (ACT)

Junior Men's Road Race

Jonathon Clarke (VIC)
Mark Jamieson (TAS)
James Meadley (ACT)
Richard Moffatt (NSW)
Nicolas Sanderson (VIC)
Ryan Sullivan (TAS)

Junior Men's Time Trial

Mark Jamieson (TAS)
Richard Moffatt (NSW)

Junior Women's Road Race

Belinda Goss (TAS)
Sally Cowman (QLD)
Alex Rhodes (SA)
Stephanie Williams (TAS)

Junior Women's Time Trial

Belinda Goss (TAS)

 
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