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NZ Team for 2012 Road Worlds announced
Aug 31st, 12. Most of the riders on the Kiwi team for next month's UCI Road World Championships were announced today, but the men's road and U23 TT rosters are still undecided.
The road course for the 16-23 September championships presents a tough climbing challenge in Limburg, the southern-most province in the Netherlands.
The men's elite road race begins with 100km of rolling hills before ten laps of a 16.5km circuit. The women's and U23 road races are contested entirely on this same circuit.
Each lap of the circuit contains two climbs, the Bemelerberg Hill, a difficult, 900m winding climb with a maximum gradient of 7%, and the famed 1.2km long Cauberg which boasts a 12% maximum gradient. The finish is a 1.7km relatively flat drag from the Cauberg summit.
As with the road course, all the time trial courses finish up the Cauberg!
New Zealand selectors have finalised the women's and U23 road race teams and the men's time trial, with final selections still to take place for the men's road and U23 time trial events.
Women's line-up all confirmedThe women's line-up is headed by Olympian Linda Villumsen, who finished just 1.8sec off the podium in the time trial in London and is keen to add to her bag of world championship medals. She won TT bronze medals in 2010 and 2011 and the TT silver medal in Copenhagen last year.
Villumsen, who has been in outstanding form for the Orica GreenEdge team this year, will also ride the road race with a trio of talented young Auckland riders, Emily Collins, Emma Crum and Kate Chilcott.
Crum, 23, has been riding with success for the French-based UCI team ASPTT Dijon-BCF, building on her stage win in the Tour of New Zealand earlier this year.
Collins and Chilcott, both 21, have both raced in the USA this season for the Vanderkitten-Focus pro team where they notched up a number of podium performances. Collins is also enjoying success in Europe, this week she was the Best Young Rider and finised 5th overall in the Lotto Decca UCI2.2 tour in Belgium.
Men's TT - confirmed
Jesse Sergent (Radioshack Nissan Trek) and Sam Bewley (Orica GreenEdge), who were bronze medallist in the team pursuit in London, will show their pursuiting talents in the time trial event.
Men's road race - five named, three will ride
Three riders from the shortlist of Sergent, Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp), Julian Dean (Orica GreenEdge) and the RadioShack Nissan Trek pair of Hayden Roulston and George Bennett are still being considered for the men's road race. Greg Henderson (Lotto Belisol) is not available due to family reasons.
"Form is a key factor at the end of a long season so we need to check with our key riders on their fitness including those who will come off the Vuelta a Espana," said Bike NZ's Andy Reid. "Jack has had a long season and we will check out how Julian and Hayden rebound after the Vuelta. This is also a demanding course and we need to select a combination to best cover our options here."
The elite team will have the services of Rotorua’s Craig Geater who swaps the spanner for the job as Director Sportif for the world championships. Geater is the head mechanic for Orica GreenEdge, having held that position with Radioshack Nissan Trek among a number of Pro Tour teams.
U23 team - road confirmed, TT outstanding
Tom David (Auckland), Josh Atkins (Christchurch) and Tom Scully (Southland) have been named for the under-23 road race, while South Canterbury’s Jason Christie will be joined by either Michael Vink (Christchurch) or James Oram (North Harbour) in the time trial.
David won Belgium’s biggest amateur race this year, Atkins won the Tour of Southland on his way to a great season with the Bontrager Livestrong pro outfit while Scully, bouncing back from a major crash three years ago, is currently on trial for the Garmin Sharp World Tour team.
New Zealand team for 2012 UCI Road World Championships
Elite men, road race (3 to be selected from): Jack Bauer, Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston, Jesse Sergent, George Bennett.
Elite men TT, Sergent, Sam Bewley.
Elite women road race: Linda Villumsen, Emily Collins, Emma Crum, Kate Chilcott.
Elite women TT :: Villumsen.
Under-23 road race: Tom David, Josh Atkins, Tom Scully.
Under-23 time trial: Jason Christie plus one more from Michael Vink, James Oram.
The the second year in a row, the Junior (U19) Road World Championships will be contested alongside the elite and U23 races. The New Zealand U19 team was previously announced as:
U19 Men RR - Tom Vessey, Sean Hambrook, Hayden McCormick
U19 Men TT - Dylan Bennett, Nick Bain
U19 Women RR - Sophie Williamson
U19 Women TT - Sophie Williamson
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