Paris-Roubaix to Gold Coast gold
AUSTRALIAN cycling stars Mathew Hayman and Alex Edmondson will fly to the Gold Coast just days after riding in the Paris-Roubaix in Europe to spearhead the men's road team at the Commonwealth Games in April.
Twelve years after his gold medal ride in Melbourne in 2006, Hayman will captain the team alongside reigning national champion Edmondson, Steele von Hoff, Callum Scotson, Mitch Docker and Cameron Meyer who will ride both track and the road at the Games.
Cycling Australia yesterday announced a 36-rider team, including 19 debutants, for what it has dubbed a major dress rehearsal for the 2020 Olympics.
Meyer will be joined on the track by Sam Welsford, Nick Yallouris, Alex Porter, Kelland O'Brien, Jordan Kerby and Leigh Howard, who missed out on the Delhi Games in 2010 and only returned to the velodrome last year.
"I have great memories from Delhi in 2010 so to be part of both teams and at home is very exciting," Meyer said.
"And to see so many fresh faces I'm sure we'll surprise a lot of people with what we can achieve on the Gold Coast in April.
"I'm looking for big results, we set the bar high and ultimately gold medals.
"Being part of the road team as well is a bit more complicated, it's a bigger field and very strong, but with experience like Mat Hayman and the Australian champion in Alex Edmondson I'm sure we'll give it a real crack."
The women's road team will include Chloe Hosking in her third Commonwealth Games, national champion Shannon Malseed, Tiffany Cromwell, Gracie Elvin and Sarah Roy.
The women's track sprint team includes Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton as Australia heads to a major Games without Anna Meares for the first time since 1998, but racing is still on the Anna Meares Velodrome and Morton has borrowed one of her mottos for inspiration.
"It's not too often we get to perform in front of a home crowd and I'm working off the saying that pressure makes diamonds, you could use it as a bad thing or as a positive headset going in and that's what I'll be doing," Morton said.
"Kaarle and I have some pretty fast targets we want to meet and hopefully we can do that in front of a home crowd.
"I've got family and friends coming up and I think it would be nice to give it a crack to try to defend my (individual sprint) title so I'm really looking forward to it."
The women's track endurance team includes Annette Edmondson, Alex Manly, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Georgia Baker, Amy Cure and Rebecca Wiasak.
"To be able to do it on home soil is completely different (to Glasgow in 2014), that's why we're back here lining up and tried super hard to make this team," Edmondson said.
"We have had a bit of a shake-up, we lost Mel Hoskins but we also have Alex Manly, and there's been a shift in the management at Cycling Australia and a new coach, so things are different and there's a lot of momentum going forward."
AUSTRALIAN CYCLING TEAM FOR THE 2018 COMMONWEALTH GAMES
Callum Scotson (time trial)
Steele von Hoff
Road MOUNTAIN BIKE
Jess Gallagher/Madison Janssen
Bradley Henderson/Thomas Clarke