• Sarah Carrigan. (Getty)Source: Getty
Australia's last Olympic road cycling gold medallist believes the course she has helped design for the 2018 Commonwealth Games will suit the home team's riders.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
AAP
3 Feb 2017 - 9:37 AM 

The road cycling courses for the 2018 Commonwealth Games are geared towards Australian success, according to 2004 Olympic women's road race gold medallist Sara Carrigan.

Carrigan, the last Australian cyclist to win Olympic gold on the road, played a key role in designing the course on the southern end of the Gold Coast - which includes a number of the roads she trained on in the lead-up to Athens.

Both the road race and time trial courses feature a number of short punchy climbs followed by flatter sections of road as they snake from the Currumbin beachfront towards the region's hilly Hinterland and back again.

And Carrigan believes this will play into the hands of the all-round cyclists, rather than specialist climbers or sprinters, which is music to the host's ears.

"It means you're not always going to have the strongest rider, but you're going to have the tactical rider that has ability to bring the stronger riders out," Carrigan said.

"The stock that we have both in the men's and women's are all-rounders. So I think this course is suited towards them."

Both the courses differ largely from the likes of those used at the Rio Olympics, which featured an 11km hill climb.

Instead, the longest ascent on either course is a 1.5km burst in the road race, which forms part of an 18.7km track which makes up the 168km men's race and 113km women's event.

Likewise, in the time trial, an incredibly 800m steep section known as "The Beast" is the most arduous part of the track, which is 24.5km for the women and 37.8km for the men.

And it's in the road race where Carrigan expects the Australians to have the most success.

"Simon Gerrans has proved time and time again as an all-round type cyclist," she said.

Meanwhile, she pointed to specialist climber and women's Glasgow 2014 bronze-medallist Katrin Garfoot to tactically benefit from the likes of allrounders Jenelle Crooks and Emily Roper, who will each have the added advantage of knowing the track as locals.

"Having that really good mix means as a team we can be really effective in executing a race strategy to get the best result for Australia," she said.