Bike NZ name trio for world champs road race
Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston and Jack Bauer have been given the nod to ride for New Zealand in the elite men's road race at the world championships in Netherlands on September 24.
The three will race over the 263km course which is the blue riband event at the road cycling world championships, which begin in Limburg on Monday with the team time trial.
With Greg Henderson out injured, it was always likely that Dean, Roulston and Bauer would make up the three-man team.
Dean has just completed the Tour of Spain, his 20th grand tour, Roulston had to pull out of this race after feeling unwell and dizzy after a crash midway through it.
Bauer completed the Tour de France in July and also rode in the London Olympics.
Fellow professionals Jesse Sergent and Sam Bewley will compete in the individual time trial at Limburg.
Sergent is first back-up for the road team and George Bennett second reserve.
BikeNZ road manager Andy Reid said the team represented arguably the strongest ever overall quality to a world championship.
"We have six World Tour riders all in good form which is unprecedented for New Zealand," Reid said.
"We wanted to select on form and also cover all of our bases as best we can for the course in Limburg.
"Julian Dean has come out of the Vuelta back to some of his best form. He not only showed out in his lead-out role but also was very strong throughout the race, riding Simon Clarke back on to the bunch in a crucial stage in his successful campaign for the polka dot jersey.
"Hayden Roulston was in excellent form until his crash in the Vuelta but has recovered fully and very buoyant about his chances, while Jack Bauer has been preparing specifically for this race.
"We have Julian should it be decided in a sprint, Hayden with his speed and ability to get over the lumps, while Jack can cover the break and has the strength to be there at the end.
"It is a demanding course and we feel this is a team stacked with talent with the ability to cover differing race scenarios.
"At the same time we have two outstanding pursuiters in Jesse Sergent and Sam Bewley to perform in the time trial.
"Overall it is an exceptional team and we are excited by it."
The women's team is headed by Orica-AIS professional Linda Villumsen, fourth in the London Olympic time trial, who is chasing her fourth straight medal in this discipline at the world championships.
In the men's Under-23 time trial James Oram, a medallist in the junior division last year, will join Jason Christie in the starting line-up after a strong showing at the Chrono Champenois time trial earlier this month.
Christchurch's Michael Vink has withdrawn his bid for selection after suffering ill health in recent weeks.
The other change is in the under-19 team where Te Awamutu's Hayden McCormick will now ride the road race as well as the time trial after the withdrawal of Dylan Kennett following injuries he received in the recent junior track world championships.
The BikeNZ teams are:
Elite men, road race: Jack Bauer (Garmin Barracuda, Takaka); Julian Dean (Orica GreenEdge, Rotorua), Hayden Roulston (Radioshack Nissan Trek, Christchurch). Reserves: Jesse Sergent (Radioshack Nissan Trek, Feilding), George Bennett (Radioshack Nissan Trek, Nelson)
Time trial: Sergent, Sam Bewley (Orica GreenEdge, Rotorua).
Elite women road race: Linda Villumsen (GreenEdge, Auckland), Emily Collins (Vanderkitten-Focus, Auckland) Emma Crum (ASPTT Dijon-BCF, Auckland), Kate Chilcott (Vanderkitten-Focus, Auckland).
Time trial: Villumsen.
Under-23, road race: Tom David (Auckland), Josh Atkins (Bontrager Livestrong, Christchurch), Tom Scully (Garmin Barracuda, Invercargill).
Time trial: Jason Christie (Team Differdange, Ashburton), James Oram (Bontrager Livestrong, Auckland).
Under-19, men's road race: Sean Hambrook (Tasman), Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu), Tom Vessey (Alexandra). Reserves: James Judd (Auckland), Nick Bain (Auckland),
Men's time trial: Bain, McCormick. Reserve: Vessey.
Women's road race: Sophie Williamson (Alexandra).