Seven world champs in Aussie team for Commonwealth Games

Australians going for gold in New Dehli in October

Australia on Thursday named seven reigning world champions in their 27-strong cycling team for the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in October.

The Australian team will be headlined by 2004 Olympic and reigning Commonwealth Games champion Anna Meares and defending Commonwealth men's road race champion Mathew Hayman.

The Australians are aiming to repeat their dominant performance on both road and track at the Melbourne Games in 2006 and this year's UCI World Track Cycling Championships.

Australia topped the table with 10 of the 57 medals, including six gold, at the world track championships in Copenhagen in March.

Track world champions Meares (500m time trial and team sprint), Ashlee Ankudinoff (team pursuit), Kaarle McCulloch (team sprint), Josephine Tomic (team pursuit), Jack Bobridge (team pursuit), Michael Hepburn (team pursuit), and three-time champion at this year's world titles Cameron Meyer (team pursuit, points race and madison) were all named in the team.

Underlining the generational change underway in Australian track cycling, only Meares and 2006 team sprint bronze medallist Shane Perkins have previously competed at a Commonwealth Games.

The road events in New Delhi will take place straight after the UCI Road World Championships in Melbourne and Australia will again field a strong line-up at the Games.

Defending Commonwealth road race champion Mathew Hayman will be joined by sprinters Allan Davis, Chris Sutton and Mark Renshaw.

The women's road team will be led by 2006 Games representative and women's World Cup winner Rochelle Gilmore.

Australian Commonwealth Games Association chief executive Perry Crosswhite said the cycling team was as strong as any that had represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

"The weight of seven current world champions is huge and the recent performances of the Australian track team will mean we enter the Delhi Commonwealth Games in a strong position and as a feared unit by competing nations," Crosswhite said.

The Australian track cycling team won seven gold medals, five silver and three bronze medals, while the road team collected four golds along with three silver and two bronze at the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

Team roster

Men's Track: Daniel Ellis, Jason Niblett, Shane Perkins, Scott Sunderland, Jack Bobridge, Michael Freiberg, Michael Hepburn, Cameron Meyer, Travis Meyer, Dale Parker.

Men's Road: Allan Davis, Mathew Hayman, Richie Porte, Mark Renshaw, Chris Sutton.

Women's Track: Kaarle McCulloch, Anna Meares, Emily Rosemond, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Megan Dunn, Belinda Goss, Josephine Tomic.

Women's Road: Ruth Corset, Rochelle Gilmore, Chloe Hosking, Carly Light, Alexis Rhodes.

© AFP 2010

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