Roulston Leads Bikenz Team For Uci World Road Championships

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Wed 16/Sep/09 4:00pm

Roulston leads BikeNZ team for UCI World Road Championships

Double Olympic medallist Hayden Roulston will spearhead the BikeNZ cycling team in this month’s UCI World Road Championships in Switzerland.

New Zealand will send an 11-strong team to compete in the individual time trial and road race from 23-27 September.

Roulston, based with the Cervelo Test Team in Europe, is focussing on the world championships to be staged in Mendrisio, in southern Switzerland. It is close to the Italian town of Varese, nestled in the foothills of the Alps, which was the location for last year’s world championships.

Five Beijing Olympians will be in the team although it will be missing Julian Dean and Greg Henderson, with the hilly terrain of the Mendrisio circuit not conducive to the sprinting skills of the two in-form professionals, both currently competing in the Tour of Spain.

Roulston will be joined in the men’s team by US-based Jeremy Vennell with Francais de Jeux rider Tim Gudsell , also racing in the Tour of Spain, rounding out the team.

Wanganui’s Cath Cheatley, who has enjoyed an excellent season for her Colavita Sutter Homes team in the US, heads a strong women’s team along with Auckland’s Kaytee Boyd and Wellington’s Rachel Mercer. Beijing Olympian Jo Kiesanowski was unavailable as she concentrates on training for the track.

The other Beijing Olympians are the pursuit squad members Sam Bewley, Jesse Sergent and Wes Gough. Bewley (Rotorua) will be joined by fellow Rotorua rider Clinton Avery and Auckland’s Alex Meenhorst to make up the under-23 road combination with Sergent and Gough to ride in the time trial.

The circuit is a 13.8km loop that includes two significant climbs of the Acqua Fresca hill and Torrazza de Novazzano, both 10 per cent gradient and approximately 2km in length along with a 4.5km steep and technical descent. The men will face 19 laps in their 262km race, the under-23 race 13 laps and the women over nine laps.

“This is another really tough circuit for the world championships, not dissimilar to the hilly course in Stuttgart in 2007,” said BikeNZ High Performance Director, Mark Elliott.

“We have great quality in our teams, especially the women, but it is a very tough assignment for them in this type of terrain against the best professionals in the world racing in their own backyard. We have some strong riders, many of whom have been racing well this season in key support roles for professional teams.”

Roulston has enjoyed an impressive debut season for the new Cervelo Test Team, finishing on the podium when he was pipped for a stage win in the Tour of California and also racing prominently in two breakaways on the Tour de France. He will join the high profile Columbia Highroad team at the end of the year for a two-year contract.

The Ashburton rider will be supported by Vennell (Hawkes Bay), who has enjoyed an excellent season for Team Bissell in the USA including seven top-10 finishes. The 28 year old national time trial champion will also ride that discipline at the world championships.

Gudsell, who returned to cycling after a crash in the summer, regained his form sufficiently for the powerful Francais de Jeux team to include him in their line-up for the current Tour of Spain.

The women’s team is led by Olympian Cheatley, who has claimed success on the track and the road this year. Cheatley has enjoyed 12 top-10 finishes including four podiums and sixth place in the World Cup in Canada.

One person who will be at home in the hills in this part of Switzerland is Auckland’s Kaytee Boyd, the former mountainbike international and member of the world championship medal-winning team pursuit squad. She has enjoyed a superb rookie season for the Italian-based Selle Italia Ghezzi pro team, including fifth overall in the prestigious five-stage La Route de France last month.

Mercer, sixth in the world junior road race two years ago, makes her first appearance in the senior ranks. The young Wellington rider has a win to her credit this year riding for professional Team Hitec in Europe.

Bewley, who has been riding for Lance Armstrong’s Trek Ridestrong development team, heads the under-23 team. Meenhorst (Auckland), the best kiwi finisher last year, is riding for a Swiss-based Pro Continental team this year while Avery has earned wins this year for his Belgian professional team.

Bewley’s Olympic team-mates Sergent (Feilding) and Gough (Waipukurau) will be strong contenders in the time trial. Sergent has performed well in the Trek Ridestrong team while Gough has come off altitude training in Colorado for this event with second place in the prestigious French time trial, the Chrono Champenois.

The men’s under-23 time trial is on September 23, with the elite men the following day. The under-23 and women’s road races are on September 26 followed by the men the next day.

The BikeNZ team is:

Elite men, road race: Hayden Roulston (Ashburton), Jeremy Vennell (Hastings), Tim Gudsell (Te Awamutu). Time trial: Vennell.

Under-23, road race: Sam Bewley (Rotorua), Alex Meenhorst (Auckland), Clinton Avery (Rotorua). Time trial: Jesse Sergent (Feilding), Wes Gough (Waipukurau).

Elite women: Catherine Cheatley (Wanganui), Kaytee Boyd (Auckland), Rachel Mercer (Wellington).
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Re: Roulston Leads Bikenz Team For Uci World Road Championships

Postby psychavoc on Wed 16/Sep/09 4:52pm

Woohoo! Go Kaytee :thumbsup: Good move going from MTB to Road!
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Re: Roulston Leads Bikenz Team For Uci World Road Championships

Postby taylormade on Wed 16/Sep/09 5:18pm

Congrats to all selected!!! And I hope Rachel Mercer goes well in her first ride as an Elite at the Worlds:)
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Re: Roulston Leads Bikenz Team For Uci World Road Championships

Postby SlackBoy on Wed 16/Sep/09 6:57pm

psychavoc wrote:Woohoo! Go Kaytee :thumbsup: Good move going from MTB to Road!
Cha, far far far less likely to ruin bike gear on the roadie.
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Re: Roulston Leads Bikenz Team For Uci World Road Championships

Postby Oli on Wed 16/Sep/09 7:02pm

Great team - best of luck to them all! :thumbsup:
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Re: Roulston Leads Bikenz Team For Uci World Road Championships

Postby cyclecrazy65 on Sat 19/Sep/09 8:03am

hope the team can do a good job , betterthan the ABs
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