Out of those who missed the long-team cut for the Worlds, Anthony Tan believes there to be one or two oversights from the selectors.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

What were originally 22 are now 15. By Tuesday next week, 24 August, that number will be down to nine.

Yes, I'm referring to the Australian men's team for the 2010 world championship road race, to be staged in Geelong on 3 October. If there was such a thing as a good headache surely this it – but what about those who have missed the cut, when the long team was announced last Wednesday?

Matt Lloyd, Brett Lancaster, Luke Roberts and the brothers Meyer, Cameron and Travis, will not get a guernsey.

Let's start with Lloyd. I would describe his 2010 season as something of a breakthrough, winning a stage at the Giro d'Italia and with his back to the wall, battling all the way to Verona to secure the mountains competition.

At the Tour de France, he did nothing special on an individual level, even though his want was to go for the polka-dot jersey, but still, the 27-year-old Victorian worked his proverbial butt off for Belgian team-mate Jurgen Van Den Broeck, who finished fifth overall.

Clearly, he doesn't shirk domestique duties and would have been a great asset to the squad on this deceptively difficult finishing circuit; for these reasons, I felt 'Lloydy' deserved a place over Baden Cooke or Chris Sutton in the long team.

To date Lancaster, affectionately known as 'Burt' or 'Big Bird', has also had a solid year, his most notable achievement coming after a rain-soaked day in May's Tour of California, where, isolated without team-mates, he outsmarted and out-sprinted a select 27-man group to claim the second stage.

He also has a Tour de France in his legs where he rode at the service of Thor Hushovd, who finished third in the race for Green, and if the Worlds does come down to a semblance of a sprint finish, Burt's a good guy to have.

But Mark Renshaw and Matthew Goss, who did make the 15-man cut, are equally good lead-out men and have experienced first-class seasons, so his omission is understandable.

Roberts, who after a two-year hiatus returned to the ProTour in moo-moo Milram colours, has had a year not to be sneezed at – he rode a great Tour Down Under to finish fifth overall and won a stage in Murcia shortly thereafter.

But going to the Tour de France without a real GC man (Linus Gerdemann has yet to fulfil his promise and most likely never will) and a second-rate sprinter in Gerald Ciolek does not send the right signals, and the squad's final position in the teams classification – dead last – was an inglorious end to Milram's swansong year. In such circumstances, it's hard to stand out.

The omission of Travis Meyer, although our national champion, is a reasonable one. The Worlds road race, an unpredictable and unwieldy affair at the best of times simply due to some fifty nations rocking up and anything from one to nine-man squads, calls for bundles of experience, and this neo-pro does not yet have that.

But his older sibling, national TT champ Cameron, although only a second-year pro, probably deserved inclusion in the long-team time trial squad. Richie Porte, Cadel Evans and Michael Rogers were the chosen names, but if Evans and Rogers are going to concentrate on delivering an Aussie victory in the road race, why not send a pair of precocious young guns to the time trial?

I felt Meyer's third-place result in the Tour of Oman TT (over 19 kilometres) behind Edvald Boassen Hagen and Fabian Cancellara was on par with Porte's TT win at the Tour de Romandie (23.4km).

However at the same time, I can understand why 'Dodger', as a triple world TT champ, got the nod, notwithstanding Mick's TT results to date Рthird to David Millar and Alberto Contador at the Crit̩rium Internationale TT (over 7.7km), fourth to Porte, Alejandro Valverde and Vladimir Karpets in Romandie (23.4km), and second to team-mate Tony Martin at the Tour of California (32km). I just felt Cam Meyer had the potential to create an upset.

Of course, one can debate hard and long into the night about who should be in and who should be out, and I acknowledge the unenviable task of our chief national selector, Shayne Bannan, AIS Cycling Head Coach and National Performance Director.

I'm just glad I'm not him.