Australia is fielding one of the most talented teams at the track worlds this week but some of the riders may be in danger of burnout, writes Michael Tomalaris.
By
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

The London Olympics are more than three years away and it's
terrific to see Australia's male track stars dominate the boards and
medal tally at the World Championships in Copenhagen.

But I
wonder whether the high-performance honchos have taken the "burn-out"
factor into account?

Take Cameron Meyer, Leigh Howard and Jack
Bobridge for example.

Here we have three superstars in the making
all of whom are in their early 20s and all of whom have already tasted
the spoils of success as road warriors on the pro-circuit.

While I
fully understand each has a passion for track racing, I wonder if the
desire for Olympic glory in the velodrome will still be burning come
2012.

Given the results of the first few days of racing in
Denmark, it's obvious Australia is taking the world titles more
seriously than some of its rival nations including as Great Britain and
France.

I just get the impression many national teams are using
Copenhagen as a "warm-up" to next year's world titles.

Maybe,
that's not the case, but I keep asking myself whether it's healthy to
risk the trio's continuing development for their respective trade teams,
for a world championship appearance which, quite frankly, appears
"ho-hum" by comparison.

I feel Meyer, Howard and Bobridge would
be better served cutting their teeth in the Spring Classics or in some
of the stage races that fill the European calendar at this time of year.

There's
no doubt each is talented enough to successfully compete at Olympic
level, but must they continuously be dragged to all corners (World Cup
rounds included) to prove anything?

At the 2004 Athens Olympics,
Stuart O'Grady and Graeme Brown joined forces at the 11th hour and went
on to win gold in the Madison.

It was their first time together
in the event and neither had anything to prove as their form on the road
in the pro-ranks at the time was enough to convince the coaching
hierarchy of their selection.

The same can be said to the current
boys brigade in Copenhagen.

May they continue to follow an
Olympic track dream, but don't interrupt their progress in their quest
to be the best on the roads of Europe.