New Zealand’s Radio Sport reports that the Kiwi squad for the UCI World Track Cycling Championships in Copenhagen will be the country’s biggest ever.
BikeNZ have selected an 18-strong squad – with 16 places available in the championships in late March. Gemma Dudley is the only newcomer to the team after impressing at the national championships. The squad will get together in Invercargill at the end of February for three weeks before departing for Denmark.
The full squad for the women is Kaytee Boyd, Rushlee Buchanan, Gemma Dudley, Lauren Ellis, Jaimie Nielsen and Alison Shanks.
The men up for final selection are Sam Bewley, Eddie Dawkins, Hayden Godfrey, Wes Gough, Peter Latham, Ethan Mitchell, Marc Ryan, Tom Scully, Jesse Sergent, Adam Stewart, Simon van Velthooven, Sam Webster.
According to TVNZ, reigning World Individual Pursuit Champion Shanks has been pulled from next week’s Tour of New Zealand to prepare for the Worlds.
Shanks was originally named in the national team contesting the five day tour which starts on Wednesday, but her name was missing when the team lists were released on Friday.
“We decided to pull Ali from the NZ tour some weeks ago because we decided a more concentrated phase of track work is what she needs four weeks out from the worlds,” national women’s coach Dayle Cheatley said.
“We initially thought that adding the road tour would add value to her training but after the competitions she’s done this year, it was determined that it wasn’t going to be a key thing that would help,” team manager for the tour Andy Reid added
“It was decided that it would be better for her to focus on other things at this time.”
Shanks has been replaced by young rider Courteney Lowe, who has the chance of gaining experience alongside some of the biggest names in national cycling – Joanne Kiesanowski and Catherine Cheatley, national road champion Rushlee Buchanan, Kaytee Boyd and well-performed Denmark-born Linda Villumsen, who has now become a New Zealander. Boyd and Buchanan will then join the rest of the track squad in Invercargill.