Aussie Focus

Australian Tokyo Olympics cycling squad announced

Part of the Australian Cycling Team for the Olympic Games in Tokyo has been announced, with few surprises for the squad that has been confirmed for the road and track disciplines.

Porte clinches first Tour Down Under

(Reuters) Source: Reuters

The road cycling team boasts a wealth of international experience headlined by two-time individual time trial world champion Rohan Dennis and dual World Championship medallist Amanda Spratt who return for their third Games.

Australia qualified four riders for each of the men's and women's road races as well as two apiece in the individual time trial.

The men’s road race will cover a 244km course including 4,865m of elevation, with the women facing a 147km course with 2692m of elevation. Both courses favour the climbers, and that is reflected in the selections, with a heavy climber focus in the picks. 

The time trial will see riders take on two laps of the 22.1km course for men and one for women, starting at the Fuji International Speedway.

Australia will be represented by Rohan Dennis in the men's time trial with the other spot unfilled, with Grace Brown and Sarah Gigante carrying the flag in the women's event in their debuts. All three will back up for the road race and will be joined by Spratt, Tiffany Cromwell in the women's race and Jack Haig, Richie Porte and Cameron Meyer for the men's race.

Porte, who reached the podium at the 2020 Tour de France, and Tour de France team time trial stage winner Meyer, have been selected for a second Games, with Meyer expected to double across the road and track.

“The Olympics is a massive career highlight for me,” Porte said. “You don't take for granted to be selected for the team in a country like Australia as it has so many worthy guys to choose from, so to just make the team, it's a big honour.

“I think it's going to be a fantastic Games; I look forward to just getting there and racing. I think it's a fantastic course, it's going to be hard, but we can aim to be up there for the podium."

33-year-old Spratt is looking forward to the challenge of the hard Tokyo course in her third Olympics.

“We've got a really great team for Tokyo,” Spratt said. “We've got a great road captain in Tiffany Cromwell, we've seen what Grace has been doing over in Europe and that youth of Sarah Gigante we've got a strong and well-rounded team that will really suit this course.”

“It’s such an honour to be selected for my third Olympic Games. That's been over a 10-year period, as well, it's something I've never complacent about. I'm really looking forward to being able to use what I've learned from those and really go there and performing Tokyo with a with a great team.”

20-year-old Victorian Sarah Gigante is still buzzing after receiving her maiden Olympic selection.

“It just feels so surreal to be named a member in my first Australian Olympic Team,” said Gigante, who has claimed three national road titles in three years (2019 road race, 2020 and 2021 time trial). “Going to the Olympics is one of those things I always dreamed of...but it always seemed like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - something I hoped really existed but certainly something very far away and a bit of a fantasy!”

The track team for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics has been confirmed, with the delay from the 2020 Games seeing several changes in the make-up of the team.

Since the March 2020 announcement of the track squad for the then 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Amy Cure and Stephanie Morton, both mainstays of the track squad, announced their retirements from elite cycling.

Six Olympic newcomers and cancer survivor Matt Glaetzer are among a 15-strong track cycling team named on Thursday for the Tokyo Olympics despite the ongoing coronavirus concerns.

Two-time world champion Glaezter is returning for his third Olympics after overcoming thyroid cancer late in 2019 while Annette Edmondson has also won selection for the third time. Edmondson has flagged her own likely retirement from top level as well, saying at the 2021 Australian nationals that her cycling career would likely stop after the Olympics.

Glaetzer, as well as Nathan Hart and Matthew Richardson, will compete in the men's sprint events, while Kaarle McCulloch will ply a lone hand in the women's sprints.

Ashlee Ankudinoff, Georgia Baker, Edmondson, Maeve Plouffe and Alex Manly make up the women's endurance team.

Leigh Howard, Kelland O'Brien, Lucas Plapp, Alex Porter and Sam Welsford were selected for the men's track endurance events.


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5 min read
Published 20 May 2021 at 2:08pm
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS