Cyclist Greg Henderson overcoming knee woes

HIGH HOPES: Kiwi cycling coach Mark Elliott believes Greg Henderson is a chance of competing in Glasgow.
HIGH HOPES: Kiwi cycling coach Mark Elliott believes Greg Henderson is a chance of competing in Glasgow.

Greg Henderson is continuing to progress well towards the Commonwealth Games road race.

The Lotto-Belisol professional split the skin from his kneecap in a crash during the opening week of the Tour de France and initially looked long odds to ride in what would be his fourth Games.

BikeNZ team manager Mark Elliott said Henderson was about to take on some longer training rides and would join the team next week ahead of the August 3 race.

"He's been doing a lot of walking, so he said if he couldn't do the road race we'll try and slot him into the race walking team." Elliott joked.

"He's back on his bike, obviously not competing, but training. The only thing he's concerned about is infection."

If Henderson can take part in the 168km, 12-lap men's road race, he could be supporting another rider who has also known heavy disappointment in this year's Tour de France - Jack Bauer, who was captured less than a dozen pedal strokes from what would have been a history-making stage win before the tour's rest day.

Henderson admitted he was not sure what he would have done if it had been his job to chase Bauer down at the end of the 15th stage.

"I wonder how it would have felt leading out the sprint yesterday and having to capture Jack," Henderson said on Twitter.

"I think NZ would have disowned me." It would have been magical for Bauer to have claimed New Zealand's maiden Tour de France stage victory, Elliott said.

"I don't think we can comprehend what Jack Bauer went through yesterday - to lead the race for 220kms, especially in the Tour de France," he said.

"You only need to go back and look at Jack's background ... he's come from being a courier rider in Wellington, into cycling at a late age. A lot of pro teams just would not accept a rider coming in like that. Jack went of his own accord, paved his own way in England for a start and then into Europe, and obviously got a break.

"We are really feeling for him. He's a special type of guy and his result yesterday - we would have loved nothing more than to have seen him win a Tour de France stage." 

Many, including former pro Julian Dean, believe the nature of the Commonwealth Games course suits a rider like Bauer, who, with Henderson, will be joined on the start line by Mike Northey and Jesse Sergent, both winners in Europe recently, and Shane Archbold and Tom Scully, who will back up after their track-racing duties.

The final event selections for track cycling at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are:

Men

Team Pursuit: Dylan Kennett, Pieter Bulling, Marc Ryan, Shane Archbold. Reserve: Aaron Gate.

Individual Pursuit: Marc Ryan, Dylan Kennett, Patrick Bevin.

Scratch: Tom Scully, Dylan Kennett, Shane Archbold.

Points: Tom Scully, Aaron Gate, Shane Archbold.

Team Sprint: Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster, Eddie Dawkins. Reserves: Matt Archibald, Simon van Velthooven.

Sprint: Sam Webster, Eddie Dawkins, Matt Archibald. Reserves: Simon van Velthooven, Ethan Mitchell.

Keirin: Sam Webster, Eddie Dawkins, Simon van Velthooven. Reserves: Matt Archibald, Ethan Mitchell.

1000m Time Trial: Simon van Velthooven, Matt Archibald.

Women

Individual Pursuit: Jamie Nielsen, Lauren Ellis, Georgia Williams.

Scratch: Georgia Williams, Lauren Ellis, Rushlee Buchanan.

Points: Georgia Williams, Lauren Ellis, Rushlee Buchanan.

Sprint: Stephanie McKenzie.

500m Time Trial: Stephanie McKenzie.

The Southland Times