• Australia will hope to establish a strong Olympic foundation at the 2016 UCI Track World Championships (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Newly-crowned national keirin champion Shane Perkins is the glaring omission from the Australia team named for the UCI Track World Championships.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
AAP
10 Feb 2016 - 3:37 PM  UPDATED 10 Feb 2016 - 3:39 PM

The 20-rider team, featuring defending world champions such as Anna Meares and Annette Edmondson, will use the March 2-6 worlds at London's Olympic velodrome as the dress rehearsal for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Catch every session of the 3-6 March UCI Track World Championships LIVE on SBS2 and online at Cycling Central.

Perkins was dropped from the national track program last year, but the 29-year-old was one of the stories of last week's Australian titles in Adelaide when he won the keirin title.

Due to his omission from the national program, the former keirin world champion is ineligible for the worlds because he has not competed at any World Cups in the last few months.

Perkins said after last Saturday's win that the title showed he should be allowed back into the Australian elite squad ahead of Rio.

There are several other big names missing from the team, but in less controversial circumstances.

Team pursuiters Jack Bobridge and Alex Edmondson were given permission to miss the worlds because of professional road commitments.

They are strong chances to be in the track endurance team for the Olympics.

Bobridge and Edmondson must attend an April team pursuit selection camp.

Melissa Hoskins, a member of the squad that won last year's team pursuit world title, predictably also missed selection.

Hoskins is still trying to regain top form after a bout of pneumonia late last year.

Rising star Georgia Baker will take her spot for the worlds.

Meares will defend her world keirin title in London, as well as race in the sprint and team sprint.

She signalled a return to form by winning those three events at the nationals.

Annette Edmondson is the reigning world champion in the omnium and team pursuit.

Ashlee Ankudinoff and Amy Cure are the other members of the winning team pursuit quartet who will race in London.

The other defending champion is Rebecca Wiasak in the individual pursuit.

Apart from Baker, new sprint star Patrick Constable and men's team pursuiters Sam Welsford, Callum Scotson and Alex Porters will also make their debuts at the senior track world championships.

Caitlin Ward missed out on a berth in the women's sprint group, with Stephanie Morton and Kaarle McCulloch to join Meares.

Former world champion Cameron Meyer will join the team purely to ride the madison and is not looking at a long-term return to the track for Rio.

“The World Championships are our last qualification event for Rio as well as the final big race opportunity to fine tune our team toward the Rio Olympics,” Cycling Australia National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta said. 

“We have set objectives for each of the athletes and we will be looking to show strong progression in all our focus disciplines, and importantly, to secure our Rio qualification quotas for all track events. Whilst the World Championships are certainly important, Rio is naturally the ultimate goal. Our eyes are firmly set on August.

“The London velodrome is a super venue, a real cauldron packed with vocal parochial crowds and this will provide the perfect stage to rehearse and refine our strategies in high pressure conditions. That’s great practice for Rio.”

Australia team for the UCI Track World Championships

Sprint: Kaarle McCulloch, Anna Meares, Stephanie Morton, Patrick Constable, Matthew Glaetzer, Nathan Hart, Jacob Schmid

Women's endurance: Ashlee Ankudinoff, Georgia Baker, Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson, Rebecca Wiasak

Men's endurance: Luke Davison, Michael Hepburn, Cameron Meyer, Glenn O'Shea, Alex Porter, Callum Scotson, Miles Scotson, Sam Welsford.