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Final NZ Road Worlds team decision announced
Sep 12th, 12. Ilness and injuries have led to a few changes to the NZ team for the UCI Road World Championships but the final line-up looks as strong as ever.
Elite men's team confirmedIn the Elite men's race, where five riders had previously been named in a short list, Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston and Jack Bauer have now been confirmed as racing. Those missing out were Jesse Sergent and George Bennett.
Sergent, however, will still be racing at the Limburg, Netherlands event, he is contesting the time trial along with Sam Bewley.
For Dean and Roulston, the good news comes after difficult seasons with injuries and setbacks. Both had hoped to ride the Tour de France and then the Olympics, but neither got those chances.
BikeNZ road manager Andy Reid said this NZ team represented arguably the strongest ever overall quality sent to a World Championships.
"We have six World Tour riders all in good form which is unprecedented for New Zealand," Reid said. "We wanted to select on form and also cover all of our bases as best we can for the course in Limburg.
"Hayden Roulston was in excellent form until his crash in the Vuelta but has recovered fully and very buoyant about his chances, while Jack Bauer has been preparing specifically for this race.
"We have Julian should it be decided in a sprint, Hayden with his speed and ability to get over the lumps, while Jack can cover the break and has the strength to be there at the end. It is a demanding course and we feel this is a team stacked with talent with the ability to cover differing race scenarios.
"At the same time we have two outstanding pursuiters in Jesse Sergent and Sam Bewley to perform in the time trial. Overall it is an exceptional team and we are excited by it."
Sergent is first back-up for the road team and George Bennett second reserve. Greg Henderson, who has had a great 2012 season, was unavailable for selection as he has to travel back to Australia for family reasons.
U23 TT confirmed
The two riders to represent NZ in the U23 time trial was also an outstanding decision until today. In the last announcement, Jason Christie was confirmed, with one other rider to be selected from Michael Vink and James Oram.
Oram, a medallist in the junior division last year, will join Christie in the starting line-up after a strong showing at the Chrono Champenois time trial earlier this month. Vink, the NZ U23 Road and Time Trial Champion, has withdrawn his bid for selection after suffering through ill health in recent weeks.
The other change is in the U19 team where Te Awamutu's Hayden McCormick will now ride the road race as well as the time trial after the withdrawal of Dylan Kennett following injuries he received in the recent UCI Junior Track World Championships.
McCormick has had a stand out season on the road in Europe and was seen by many as a surprise omission in the first NZ team announcement. He added to his growing palmares by winning another overall title at a two day race in Belgium over the weekend. McCormick recently announced he has signed with Lotto's U23 team for the 2013 season.
There are no changes to the previously announced women's team.
The championships begin with the trade team time trial on Sunday (local time) followed by the time trial for junior and under-23 men on Monday, junior and elite women are on Tuesday and elite men on Wednesday.
The road racing starts on Friday with the junior women, under-23 men and elite women on Saturday and junior and elite men on Sunday.
Complete NZ team
Elite men, road race: Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp Barracuda, Takaka); Julian Dean (Orica GreenEdge, Rotorua), Hayden Roulston (Radioshack Nissan Trek, Christchurch).
Elite men time trial: Sergent, Sam Bewley (Orica GreenEdge, Rotorua).
Elite women road race: Linda Villumsen (GreenEdge, Auckland), Emily Collins (Vanderkitten-Focus, Auckland) Emma Crum (ASPTT Dijon-BCF, Auckland), Kate Chilcott (Vanderkitten-Focus, Auckland).
Elite women time trial: Villumsen.
Under-19, men's road race: Sean Hambrook (Tasman), Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu), Tom Vessey (Alexandra).
Under-19, men's time trial: Nick Bain (Auckland), McCormick.
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