Cycling Australia has announced the selection for 2016 Rio Olympic cycling team. The complete 16-member track and five member BMX teams were announced in Adelaide on July 5, in addition to the men’s road and women’s mountain bike selections. The women’s road and men’s mountain bike selections will be finalised in the coming days.
“Today Cycling Australia celebrates the athletes who have the amazing honour of being named to the Australian Cycling Team,” said Cycling Australia CEO Nicholas Green OAM.
“All of our athletes should be proud of their achievement and I encourage them to soak it in, to enjoy the moment with their family and friends before they get back out on the bike to fine tune their preparation for the Games.”
The team, which features a host of cyclists set to make their Olympic debut, is headlined by dual Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares who will become just the third female cyclist in Olympic history to compete in four Games on the track.
Simon Gerrans will become just the fourth Australian male to line up in three Games on the road, while Jack Bobridge will also join a select group to have contested three Olympic Games on the track
A trio of BMX athletes Sam Willoughby, Caroline Buchanan and Lauren Reynolds become Australia’s first dual Olympians in the discipline.
“We are all excited about the strength of this team and it is fantastic to see a team that features such a strong blend of experience and new young talent,” added Green.
“This is a testament to the strength of the Cycling Australia High Performance Unit pathways and development programs and I would like to recognise all the hard work, dedication and passion of all of our CA HPU staff across Australia and the world.
“A special mention to Anna Meares, Simon Gerrans and Jack Bobridge on their honour, and I wish all the debutants who are welcomed into the Olympic family for the first time the very best in Rio.
“And like all of Australia’s millions of cycling fans, I look forward to cheering as they go for gold,” said Green.
The road team features World Tour stars Gerrans, Richie Porte and Rohan Dennis while the women’s line up will be announced soon.
The track sprint team is punctuated by Meares, with London Olympian Matthew Glaetzer returning for a second Games. London Paralympic gold medallist Stephanie Morton, plus Nathan Hart and Patrick Constable received their first selection.
“It is a very involved process for an Olympic campaign, across five selection panels and a nominations committee over weeks of meetings and performance analysis to make the decisions and get our team down to the final names,” said Kevin Tabotta, Cycling Australia’s National Performance Director and Chair of the Selection Committee.
“Selectors take their role very seriously. They are acutely aware how important it is to the athletes that these decisions are made with the fullest consideration and rigour.
“Of course, there will be heartbreak for some, that’s a natural consequence of the process. There are number of excellent athletes that wont make the plane to Rio yet many have played such a critical role for Australia in camps and competitions, helping get the final team to the line in Rio and we acknowledge them on this important day.
“Overall, we are very excited about the quality of talent we’ve selected across the entire Australian Olympic Cycling team, and within each of the four disciplines.
“Our high performing Olympians bring leadership and a steadying influence in a high stress environment to the first timers who bring that incredible enthusiasm and energy to their first big event,” concluded Tabotta.
2016 Australian Olympic Cycling Team
Rohan DENNIS (SA) Men Road Race and Time Trial 2nd Games
Simon GERRANS (VIC) Men Road Race 3rd Games
Richie PORTE (TAS) Men Road Race and Time Trial Debut
Jack BOBRIDGE (SA) Men Team Pursuit 3rd Games
Patrick CONSTABLE (SA) Men Team Sprint, Sprint, Keirin Debut
Alexander EDMONDSON (SA) Men Team Pursuit 2nd Games
Matthew GLAETZER (SA) Men Team Sprint, Sprint, Keirin 2nd Games
Nathan HART (ACT) Men Team Sprint Debut
Michael HEPBURN (QLD) Men Team Pursuit 2nd Games
Glenn O’SHEA (VIC) Men Omnium 2nd Games
Callum SCOTSON (SA) Men Team Pursuit Debut
Samuel WELSFORD (WA) Men Team Pursuit Debut
Ashlee ANKUDINOFF (NSW) Women Team Pursuit Debut
Georgia BAKER (TAS) Women Team Pursuit Debut
Amy CURE (TAS) Women Team Pursuit 2nd Games
Annette EDMONDSON (SA) Women Omnium & Team Pursuit 2nd Games
Melissa HOSKINS (WA) Women Team Pursuit 2nd Games
Anna MEARES (SA) Women Sprint, Keirin and Team Sprint 4th Games
Stephanie MORTON (SA) Women Sprint, Keirin and Team Sprint Debut
Anthony DEAN (SA) Debut
Bodi TURNER (VIC) Debut
Sam WILLOUGHBY (SA) 2nd Games
Caroline BUCHANAN (ACT) 2nd Games
Lauren REYNOLDS (WA) 2nd Games
Rebecca HENDERSON (ACT) 2nd Games
Photography by Bryn Lennon and Cor Vos