Australia’s ‘Cyclones’ look set to take world track champs by storm


Reuters

SYDNEY, Cycling Australia has included nine world title holders among a powerful team for this month’s track world championship in the Netherlands.

The “Cyclones” topped the medals table at the Copenhagen world event last year and Cycling Australia promised more to come in Apeldoorn from March 23-27.

“We’re coming off the back of a strong World Cup campaign where we fielded both development and elite squads,” the organization’s national performance director Kevin Tabotta said on Tuesday. “We used the series to chase Olympic qualification points and to ensure we qualified all the places we needed for the world championships and now the team we’re sending to Apeldoorn is the cream of the crop.” The men’s endurance line-up ranks among the strongest Australia has ever fielded, spearheaded by Cameron Meyer, who won three gold medals last year, and three more at the Commonwealth Games. Jack Bobridge last month clocked a world record time of four minutes, 10.534 seconds for the 4,000 meters in individual pursuit qualifying at the national titles. The individual pursuit, while no longer an Olympic Games event, remains one of the most prestigious events at the world championships. Anna Meares, bidding for a first world championship sprint gold, travels to the Netherlands fresh from her victory in the final round of the World Cup in Manchester. She stunned 2008 Olympic champion and British favorite, Victoria Pendleton in the semifinals before beating China’s Shuang Guo in the gold medal round. “Anna heads to Apeldoorn in the best position she’s ever been in to deliver a sprint medal,” Tabotta added. “But it’s not just Pendleton and Guo she needs to worry about, she’ll need to beat whoever she lines up against all the way through.” In Manchester, Meares also joined forces with Kaarle McCulloch for the first time this season to win gold in the team sprint. They head to Apeldoorn with their eyes on a hat-trick having won the event in both 2009 and 2010.