• Kaarle McCulloch of Australia celebrates finishing first in the sprint final during the Oceania Track Cycling Championships (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Australian track cyclists Kaarle McCulloch and Shane Perkins will have a final chance to press their Olympic selection claims later this month in Melbourne.
By
AAP

9 Jun 2016 - 12:06 PM 

McCulloch and Perkins will join a strong lineup of sprint cyclists for the International Track Series (ITS) at the Joe Ciavola velodrome from June 22-26.

While the ITS is not an official selection event, the day after it ends is the deadline for all Australian cyclists to post results for their Rio claims.

The Australian Olympic cycling team will be announced on July 5.

McCulloch is currently third in the selection order for the two women's sprint berths on the track team, behind two-time Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares and Stephanie Morton.

Perkins has been out of favour since late last year, losing his Australian Insitute of Sport scholarship and not making the team for the March world titles.

But he remains determined to force his way back into the national team for Rio.

Late last month, Perkins clocked a speedy 9.6 seconds in qualifying for the flying 200m at a Moscow sprint competition, where he finished second.

Meares and leading men's sprinter Matthew Glaetzer will headline the Australian team at the ITS.

Morton and fellow Rio hopefuls Pat Constable and Jacob Schmid will also feature, alongside McCulloch and Perkins.

"ITS Melbourne is an integral component of many athletes' greater preparation plans for Rio," said Cycling Australia national performance director Kevin Tabotta.

"ITS will enable a number of athletes and coaches to rehearse and refine race day strategies - while for others it provides an additional opportunity to get a timed performance on record ahead of the performance cut-off date."

The powerful New Zealand track squad will be represented, with top riders from Hong Kong and Malaysia also competing.

The final Saturday night session will also feature the 80th edition of the 2000m Melbourne Cup On Wheels handicap event.