Cycling: Dean heads NZ team for world champs

Julian Dean. photo / Te Awamutu Courier
Julian Dean. photo / Te Awamutu Courier

New Zealand will field one of its strongest teams for a road race world championships when professionals Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston and Jack Bauer line up in the Netherlands next week.

The trio were announced today by BikeNZ following the conclusion of the three-week long Vuelta a Espana, the final of the three grand tours.

Fellow professionals Jesse Sergent (Radioshack Nissan Trek) and Sam Bewley (Orica GreenEdge) will compete in the individual time trial at Limburg.

Greg Henderson, who raced at the London Olympics, ruled himself out of contention for family reasons rather than the injury that saw him withdraw from the Tour of Denmark with knee pain.

BikeNZ road manager Andy Reid said the team represented arguably New Zealand's strongest for a world championship.

"We have six World Tour riders all in good form, which is unprecedented for New Zealand," Reid said.

"We wanted to select on form and also cover all of our bases as best we can for the course in Limburg.

"Julian Dean has come out of the Vuelta back to some of his best form. He not only showed out in his lead-out role but also was very strong throughout the race, riding Simon Clarke back on to the bunch in a crucial stage in his successful campaign for the polka dot jersey.

"Hayden Roulston was in excellent form until his crash in the Vuelta but has recovered fully and is very buoyant about his chances, while Jack Bauer has been preparing specifically for this race.

"We have Julian should it be decided in a sprint, Hayden with his speed and ability to get over the lumps, while Jack can cover the break and has the strength to be there at the end.

"It is a demanding course and we feel this is a team stacked with talent with the ability to cover differing race scenarios.

"At the same time, we have two outstanding pursuiters in Jesse Sergent and Sam Bewley to perform in the time trial.

"Overall it is an exceptional team and we are excited by it."

Sergent is first back-up for the road team and George Bennett second reserve.

The women's team is headed by Orica-AIS professional Linda Villumsen, who was fourth in the London Olympic time trial and who is chasing her fourth-straight medal in this discipline at the world championships.

Both Villumsen and Bewley have also been named in their professional teams for the team time trial.

In the men's under-23 time trial James Oram, a medallist in the junior division last year, will join Jason Christie in the starting line-up after a strong showing at the Chrono Champenois time trial earlier this month. Christchurch's Michael Vink has withdrawn his bid for selection after suffering through ill health in recent weeks.

The championships begin with the professional team time trial on Sunday night followed by the time trial for junior and under-23 men on Monday, junior and elite women are on Tuesday and elite men on Wednesday.

The road racing starts on Friday with the junior women, under-23 men and elite women on Saturday and junior and elite men on Sunday.

The BikeNZ teams are:

Elite men, road race: Jack Bauer (Garmin Barracuda, Takaka); Julian Dean (Orica GreenEdge, Rotorua); Hayden Roulston (Radioshack Nissan Trek, Christchurch). Reserves: Jesse Sergent (Radioshack Nissan Trek, Feilding); George Bennett (Radioshack Nissan Trek, Nelson)

Time trial: Sergent, Sam Bewley (Orica GreenEdge, Rotorua)

Elite women road race: Linda Villumsen (GreenEdge, Auckland); Emily Collins (Vanderkitten-Focus, Auckland); Emma Crum (ASPTT Dijon-BCF, Auckland); Kate Chilcott (Vanderkitten-Focus, Auckland)

Time trial: Villumsen

Under-23, road race: Tom David (Auckland); Josh Atkins (Bontrager Livestrong, Christchurch); Tom Scully (Garmin Barracuda, Invercargill)

Time trial: Jason Christie (Team Differdange, Ashburton); James Oram (Bontrager Livestrong, Auckland)

Under-19, men's road race: Sean Hambrook (Tasman); Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu); Tom Vessey (Alexandra). Reserves: James Judd (Auckland), Nick Bain (Auckland)

Men's time trial: Bain, McCormick. Reserve: Vessey

Women's road race: Sophie Williamson (Alexandra)

- APNZ

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