New Zealand has a mix of proven and potential in the squad to contest the third round of the UCI World Cup in Beijing starting tonight (NZL time).
The 13-strong contingent are led by pursuit world champion Alison Shanks who is joined by fellow world championship medallist Lauren Ellis along with 2008 world omnium champion Hayden Godfrey as the most experienced of squad.
The women’s endurance riders include former Waikato rower Jaime Nielsen, who is back in the squad after full recovering from injury last year, and new national road champion Rushlee Buchanan (Te Awamutu).
The men’s endurance squad comprise the young stars of the future including national Madison champions Tom Scully (Invercargill) and Shane Archbold (Timaru), Myron Simpson (Auckland) and Aaron Gate (Auckland).
The men’s sprint group are led by the Melbourne Wold Cup trio of Simon van Velthooven (Palmerston North), Adam Stewart (Auckland) and Eddie Dawkins (Invercargill) along with triple world junior champion Sam Webster (Auckland).
“This world cup allows us the opportunity to continue with our important development plans that will add depth and experience to the Track Team,” said Mark Elliott, BikeNZ’s High Performance Director.
“It is a further chance to develop our combinations in the women’s team pursuit as well as working towards the world championships in a couple of months.
“We have a group of very promising young riders and this meet will give them not only important international competition but allow us to monitor their progress against the best nations in the World . Some of them might push for selection for this year’s Commonwealth Games but they will all form an important part of our focus to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2016 Olympics.”
The riders will return to prepare for next month’s RaboPlus Elite Track Championships in Invercargill, which double as the Commonwealth Games Trials, with the UCI World Track Championships in Copenhagen in March.