• Chloe Hosking is testing Simon Jones's UCI Road Cycling World Championships selection policies on behalf of the elite women. (Getty)Source: Getty
Australia’s cycling community remains divided on a decision to fill only five of a qualified seven places in the national women’s team ahead of the UCI Road World Championships.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
12 Sep 2017 - 7:26 AM  UPDATED 12 Sep 2017 - 7:32 AM

Outspoken sprinter Chloe Hosking has appealed after she was overlooked, and accused Cycling Australia of issuing a gag order to prevent riders from discussing the issue.

"I'm disappointed that the women selected have been advised not to say anything. As the elite of Australian women's cycling, it is their voices we need to speak up, but since they can't, or won't, I will,” Hosking told the Brisbane Times.
Kimberley Wells on Thursday labelled the decision “highly sexist”.

The appeal could be heard as soon as Tuesday 12 September.

The 2017 UCI Road World Championships will be held in Bergen, Norway from 167-24 September and will be broadcast on SBS Viceland and streamed online.

Englishman Simon Jones succeeded Kevin Tabotta as Cycling Australia high-performance director earlier this year and, as with any leadership change, was always going to impose his own style.

Speaking to Cycling Central before selections for the titles in Bergen, Norway was announced, Jones openly said Australia may take fewer numbers than qualified for the women’s and the men’s road teams.

This controversial call with the women’s squad may just be the tip of what the former British Cycling coach, familiar with Team GB’s notoriously ruthless and hugely successful outlook, has planned.

Jones has made it clear the overarching goal is gold medal success at the Olympic Games where Australia has by all popular accounts underperformed in recent times.

The next UCI Track World Championships, more than Norway, is likely to provide a clearer indication of his Tokyo 2020 ideology. And while it may not be popular, it may prove right.

“We’re going to be taking a more targeted approach to national teams because Australia is one of the nations that seem to be taking the biggest teams to track world championships and so on, and actually not converting into medals, particularly at the Olympics Games,” he told Cycling Central.

Cycling Australia ultimately selected the maximum to back sole captain Michael Matthews in Norway but opted for a different strategy for the women’s road race. The decision hasn’t been warmly received by some pundits and athletes at odds with Jones’s call that Australia doesn’t, unlike the men’s race with Matthews, have a genuine winner suited to the course.

Barras plots a course for Aussie women worlds win
Looking past recent selection controversy for a moment it has been a solid season for Australian women's road cycling, with riders more competitive than ever in the hilly races and the classics.

“If you look at the evidence of teams that have won the world road race championship, half have won with teams of three or less. The most important thing is you have someone who actually can win,” Jones said.

“As for [the] women, I don’t think we’ve got a clear leader for the road race, a real winner on that course. No-one has really won at the highest level in women’s this year - they’ve had good results – but for that reason we’re not going to take a full team and we’re going to have a bit more of a gambling strategy around some of the girls that have done well this year and could get on the podium.”

Jones identified Amanda Spratt and Sarah Roy as two of those from the five-strong women’s team that also includes Gracie Elvin, Shara Gillow and Katrin Garfoot (road race and time trial).

“We’re going through quite a major change and it is quite unsettling. I said this year was about planning, selecting, learning and plotting. We have got to stop, think and lay the foundations,” Jones said.

“That’s the conversation we’re having and we’re having it across the whole programme - making sure we’ve got a good, planned approach and strategy, which isn’t just fingers crossed and hoping.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty with road cycling this year - we’re fully aware.”

No Plan-B for Australia at road worlds says Jones
NEW high-performance director Simon Jones has borrowed from the British playbook declaring Australia will have no Plan B behind uncontested leader Michael Matthews at the upcoming UCI Road World Championships.