The 33 member strong
Australian Cycling Team to contest the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games
boasts World, Olympic and Commonwealth Games champions along with a new crop
of talent all hungry to win medals.
The road team includes two Olympic Champions in Sara Carrigan, the 2004
Athens gold medallist and Kathryn Watt who 12 years earlier claimed gold on
the road at the Barcelona Olympic Games and will line up in her fourth
Commonwealth Games. World ranked number one Oenone Wood; World Cup round
winner Rochelle Gilmore and seasoned European based professionals Olivia
Gollan and Natalie Bates have also been selected. Alexis Rhodes, who has
made a courageous comeback to top level competition after suffering horrific
injuries in the German road accident last year, has also been named.
The credentials of the cyclists selected for the track team illustrate why
Australia is the number one ranked track cycling nation in the world; Anna
Meares; Olympic and dual Manchester Commonwealth Games champion, Kerrie
Meares; 2005 World Cup Kilometre Series winner, Kate Mactier; World Champion
and Kate Bates; Commonwealth Champion.
Claire Baxter, Emma Colson and Dellys Starr have been selected for the
women's mountain bike.
All those named have met the criteria for nomination according to the
Cycling Australia Selection Policy. Although the athletes have been named by
discipline they may, at the discretion of team management coaches, be
entered in other disciplines.
Track cycling was introduced at the 1934 Empire Games where Edgar 'Dunc'
Gray in the time trial won Australia's first gold medal on the track. Road
cycling was added in 1938 and cross country mountain bike in 2002.
Australians have won 64 gold, 47 silver and 30 bronze medals in Commonwealth
Games competition including 10 gold, seven silver and six bronze in
Manchester in 2002. Kathy Watt is Australia's most prolific Commonwealth
Games cycling medal winner with four gold, one silver and one bronze from
her three appearances in 1990, 1994 and 1998.
The Meares and Bates sisters bring to five the sets of siblings selected so
far for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games team.
In announcing the team, Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Perry
Crosswhite said the squad contains some of the biggest names in Australian
sport, along with a number of remarkable comebacks.
"The Australian track squad is number one in the world, and our
road and mountain bike riders are also feared by the opposition.
"Special mention should be made of the return of Kathy Watt, who
will compete in her fourth Games to provide an appropriate bookend to her
career, which began with a gold medal in the road race in Auckland in 1990.
"And Alexis Rhodes, who we have all followed with such interest
following the tragedy that occurred in Germany last year. Alexis epitomises
the character of the great Australian sportsperson and we are thrilled to
welcome her to the team," Mr Crosswhite said.
2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games Cycling Team
Sara Carrigan (QLD)
Rochelle Gilmore (NSW)
Olivia Gollan (NSW)
Alexis Rhodes (SA)
Kathryn Watt (VIC)
Oenone Wood (ACT)
Katie Mactier (VIC)
Anna Meares (QLD)
Kerrie Meares (QLD)
Emma Colson (VIC)
Dellys Starr (VIC)
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