Commonwealth Games Australia is pleased to announce a strong 36-member team to contest the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Reigning Commonwealth Games champions Stephanie Morton, Matthew Glaetzer and Annette Edmondson headline the track selections, in addition to the return of 2010 Gold medallists Cameron Meyer and Kaarle McCulloch.
Reigning road national champions Alexander Edmondson and Shannon Malseed, triple world championship medallist Katrin Garfoot and 2006 Commonwealth Games road race gold medallist Mathew Hayman feature in the road selections.
The team will vie for 26 gold medals - track (16), para-cycling track (4), road (4), and mountain bike (2) competitions in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast from 4-15 April.
Australian Team Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti welcomed the athletes on to the Australian Team.
“We enjoyed strong success at Glasgow 2014 from the Cycling team, so with the depth and experience we have in this team we look forward to more success at Gold Coast 2018,” he said.
“The cycling program is an incredibly exciting one for fans, with competition at the new Anna Meares Velodrome, road cycling events that are free and open to all spectators and mountain biking at the Nerang trails.
“With many of these athletes spending a lot of time abroad, Gold Coast 2018 provides a unique chance for these athletes to compete in front of a home crowd,” Moneghetti said.
With the announcement of the 36 cyclists today, the Australian Team currently numbers 222, or just under half the anticipated total of 470 athletes.
The men’s track endurance squad is replete with rainbow jerseys, with reigning team pursuit world champions Samuel Welsford, Kelland O’Brien, Leigh Howard, Alexander Porter and Nicholas Yallouris, plus individual pursuit world champion Jordan Kerby; named in their first Games’ team.
Three-time world champion Leigh Howard will also debut, with eight-time world champion and triple 2010 Games Gold medallist Cameron Meyer rounding out the strong line up.
Defending scratch race Gold medallist and dual world champion Annette Edmondson, dual 2014 Games medallist and world champion Amy Cure and 2010 representative Ashlee Ankudinoff will lead the women’s endurance squad.
Dual world champion Rebecca Wiasak, Rio Olympian Georgia Baker and rising star Alexandra Manly all receive their first Commonwealth Games’ selections.
“It’s really not that often someone gets to represent their country in a home Commonwealth Games in their career, so for me, it’s something very special that I’ll never forget,” said Cure, a dual medallist from 2014.
“(I am) super excited to have the team pursuit on the calendar at the Games. I’m really excited to see what the team can achieve; as one of our three Olympic events, it’s great to get another opportunity to race this race in front of big crowds.”
Australia’s sprint crew is awash with Commonwealth Gold with defending sprint champion Stephanie Morton to form a formidable women’s sprint duo with 2010 team sprint champion Kaarle McCulloch.
2014 keirin Gold medallist Matthew Glaetzer will spearhead an impressive men’s sprint quartet with Rio Olympians Nathan Hart and Patrick Constable, and Jacob Schmid.
A host of Australia’s WorldTour elite highlight the road selections, with reigning national champion Alexander Edmondson, 2006 Commonwealth Games road race Gold medallist Mathew Hayman, Steele Von Hoff, Mitchell Docker, Callum Scotson and Meyer, forming a versatile six-member men’s road squad.
“I have very fond memories of the 2014 Commonwealth Games from Glasgow, so I am really excited about lining up in the road race in 2018,” said Edmondson, who won Gold and Silver in the pursuit events on the track four years ago.
“Of course being a home games there’s a bit of added pressure, but we are going to have a home crowd cheering us on which is going to be huge.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of racing in the green and gold on home soil!”
Triple world championship medallist and 2014 Commonwealth Bronze medallist Katrin Garfoot will head the six-member women’s team with reigning road national champion Shannon Malseed, dual national road champion Gracie Elvin and 2010 Games Bronze medallist Chloe Hosking, who gains a third team selection.
2010 team member Tiffany Cromwell returns while Sarah Roy makes her debut.
“It's a bit of a pinch yourself moment,” said Hosking who becomes just the third Australian female cycling behind Anna Meares and Kathy Watt to be named to contest three Commonwealth Games.
“To think I represented Australia at 20 in Delhi and I'm still racing and still getting stronger and still pulling on the green and gold. I would never have dreamt this growing up.”
The Tandem Para-cycling selections are led by 2016 world champions Jessica Gallagher and Pilot Madison Janssen, while Bradley Henderson will make his debut with Pilot Thomas Clarke who won Bronze at the 2014 Games.
2014 Bronze medallists and dual Olympians Daniel McConnell and Rebecca McConnell (nee Henderson) will contest the mountain bike cross-country competition.
“I'm very excited about the upcoming Games, to have a home Commonwealth Games is going to be a great experience,” said McConnell who grabbed a top ten finish at last year’s World Championships in Cairns. “I have pretty high expectations going into the Games.
“I really like the course, I think it suits my strength pretty well. I just want to get to the start line 100% fit and ready to go, if I can do that anything is possible.”
Similarly, Rebecca McConnell is hoping the home course advantage plays into her hands when she lines up against a world-class field.
“I have been fortunate enough to race on the course at the Nationals Series in January, it's a great course, with technical climbing and descending and the strongest rider will win,” said Henderson.
“With world champions and World Cup winners in both the men's and the women's field the racing is going to be fast and exciting so we hope to see lots of spectators in April!”
Australia has enjoyed strong success at recent Games with a 24-medal haul including seven gold in Glasgow in 2014, and 21 medals (14 gold) in Delhi in 2010.
Tickets still available to 12 sports across the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games competition schedule.
Commonwealth Games Australian Cycling Team
PARA TRACK (TANDEMS)
* Commonwealth Games debutant