Aussie Focus

A country roadshow paves path to Tokyo Olympics

Following a heavy training and racing period on both the road and track in early 2021, Australia’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games men's track endurance Squad will take in regional Australia in a racing roadshow across April and May.

UCI Track Cycling World Championships 2020 - Day One - Velodrom

Australia's Sam Welsford leads his team in the Men's Team Pursuit during day 1 of the 2020 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin Source: Getty / Getty Images

The men’s mainstays of the team pursuit and endurance squad, Leigh Howard, Kelland O’Brien, Lucas Plapp, Alex Porter and Sam Welsford will race across Victoria, NSW and South Australia against Australia's best domestic and club riders at a host of the country's most historic regional-based road races.

The roadshow follows a solid early season racing schedule which began with the Santos Festival of Cycling in January, Road Nationals in Ballarat and the National Madison Championships in late February in Adelaide.

The squad also recently completed a series of Olympic Games rehearsals in Melbourne in mid-March, but skipped the recent National Track Championships in Brisbane, opting to take this route instead.

Advertisement


The block will see the 267-kilometre Melbourne to Warrnambool - Australia's oldest and longest race - as the jewel in the crown, but there will be plenty of opportunity for the Olympic-bound stars to show off for regionally based fans.

SBS Cycling Central will host a livestream of the Melbourne to Warrnambool on May 1, with times to be confirmed closer to the event.

“It is a great opportunity to give back to some regional races around Australia before the Olympics come around," said Tim Decker, men's National Track Endurance Coach. "It fits well with our phase of building endurance on the road and building our strength in the gym.” 

“It'll be a good challenge for them to pit their skills against the local National Road Series riders or even local riders in some of the smaller races. Racing always bring some form of pressure.”

It's a different approach to past Olympics preparations, which have been built around major international events like world championships, paired with intensive training schedules. Decker has been a long proponent of mixing his track athlete's preparation on the boards with road events and the variety will no doubt be key to the lead-in to Tokyo.

“Some of the races are handicaps, so that's another good thing," said Decker. "It's going to make them chase and work hard to try and get to the front to win the race overall.

"They are looking forward to it, it should be good preparation, leading into our final camp before the Olympics.”

Schedule of Races 

April 11th - Wagga to Albury

April 17/18th - Casterton 50 (80k) and Vic 100 km title

May 1st - Melbourne to Warrnambool

May 16/17th  - Mt Gambier 100 mile (160k), SA Kermesse Championships

May 30th - Tour of the Riverland Berri Classic 


SHARE
Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
3 min read
Published 9 April 2021 at 11:28am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS