The Australian Cycling Team has landed in Aigle, Switzerland ahead of the 2018 UCI Junior Track World Championships which run 15-19 August.
Returning 2017 representatives Alexandra Martin-Wallace (QLD) and Alice Culling (VIC) and eleven debutants form a 13-member squad set to contest the Championships held at the UCI World Cycling Centre.
Martin-Wallace and Culling, along with Sophie Edwards (SA), Lauren Robards (ACT) and Sarah Gigante (VIC) will contest the women’s endurance events, while Luke Plapp (VIC), Blake Quick (QLD), James Moriarty (QLD), Michael Rice (ACT) and Luke Wight (SA) form the men’s endurance quintet.
The sprint trio features Leigh Hoffman (SA), Thomas Cornish (NSW) and Alana Field (VIC).
Selected following February Track Nationals, the team has been turning heads at their camp held at the Australian Cycling Team headquarters in Adelaide, and not just because of their freshly dyed hair.
“They are one of the best groups I have ever worked with, how they have come together as a squad and bonded in such a short period, it is very impressive,” said Matthew Gilmore, Cycling Australia’s National Junior Coach.
“We have worked just as hard on the team cultures and establishing team values, and this has really shaped the team, helped them be better teammates to each other,” added Gilmore, who was impressed by the team's level of detail in researching and delivering a presentation to the coaches on the legacy of the men’s annual tradition of dying their hair blonde.
“The Junior Worlds is the biggest thing for the riders at the moment, but for us, it provides a real opportunity for us to set the tone moving forward, for the team and CA moving forward.
"If we start that at the junior level, then it gets them on the right step.”
Debutant Leigh Hoffman has enjoyed the jump from the state level to the national team for his maiden World Championships.
“It has been a huge culture change stepping up, we have learned it is all about respect. Respect of your team kit, your teammates, the opportunity you have,” Hoffman said.
“And for so many riders from all around the country to get along so well, it is fantastic. We have moulded together really well; we are just one happy family.”
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Visit https://www.aigle2018.com for more event information.
Australian Cycling Team - 2018 UCI Junior Track World Championships