Double Olympic medallist Hayden Roulston makes his return to the professional road cycling circuit this weekend in the high profile Tour of California.
Roulston, who won a silver medal in the individual pursuit and bronze in the team pursuit in Beijing, will compete for the first time for his new Cervelo Test Team in the eight-day tour over 1260kms in northern California.
The New Zealander, who formerly raced for professional teams Cofidis and Discovery before a heart condition forced him out of the sport, made a successful comeback two years ago culminating in his double Olympic medal performances on the track.
This brought him to the attention of the newly formed Cervelo Test Team which has its first outing in the Tour of California led by Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre (ESP) and two-time Tour points winning sprinter, Thor Hushovd (NOR).
There are three New Zealanders lining up in the tour with Rouston, Hawkes Bay rider Jeremy Vennell and Te Awamutu’s Peter Latham, both lining up for Team Bissell.
Latham will make a speedy return following the Tour to rejoin the New Zealand track team in their final preparations for the world track championships at the end of March.
The Tour, which has attracted many high profile teams including Astana team led by Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer, begins with a prologue in the Californian capital of Sacramento on Sunday (NZ time.
Meanwhile current Bike NZ National Points Series leader Jeremy Yates continues his strong form in the Tour of Langkawi which finishes this weekend in Malaysia.
The Hawkes Bay rider, competing for the Asian Letua Cycling Team, is currently seventh overall on general classification and leads in the King of the Mountain honours.
The Tour finishes this weekend.
He will then join fellow kiwis Jason Allen and world omnium champion Hayden Godfrey in a major international criterium in Singapore next weekend.
On the home front Beijing Olympian Sarah Walker makes her return to competition in the UCI BMX Oceania series at North Harbour BMS Club in Albany.
The current Oceania champion will be the overwhelming favourite in the elite women’s competition with other leading New Zealand hopes Victoria Hill (New Plymouth) and Kurt Pickard (Tauranga).
The two-day event is relatively low-key this year with qualifying points for the London Olympics not starting until next year.
That another BikeNZ press release? Only they'd leave out a past NZ TT champion (Chadwick) from the list of Kiwis at the ToC. Yes, he may have been a late addition to the Rock Racing squad but it was still announced a week ago.
Oh... and yesterday Yates slipped back to 56th at Langkawi and lost the KOM jersey. Try and keep up please.