New Zealand road cycling champion Hayden Roulston has withdrawn from the track squad to focus his attentions on his road racing career.

Roulston, who recently signed a contract with the powerful pro tour team, Radioshack Nissan Trek, had also harboured hopes of making a successful return to track cycling in a bid to make the team for the London Olympics.

After an intense week of training with the BikeNZ track squad in Invercargill, the double Beijing Olympic medallist decided to withdraw ahead of the UCI Oceania Track Championships starting today at the ILT Velodrome.

BikeNZ men's endurance coach Tim Carswell said Roulston had been a valuable addition back into the track cycling ranks but he fully understood and supported the decision to concentrate on his road career.


"The requirements to be a successful rider for a Pro Tour road team as well as prepare for an Olympic Games on the track are formidable," Carswell said.

"Hayden has worked really hard this week and has shown signs of the sort of training numbers needed at this level on the track.

"At the same time he has realised what it will take in terms of time, both for key competitions and specific training, for him to be considered for selection on the track for London.

"The Olympic selection policy requires riders to prove their capabilities in the major World Cup and World Championship meets.

"However Hayden's new road contract involves him for the early part of the season in particular, and after weighing up all of these factors he has come to the conclusion that he can't fulfil the requirements demanded for both road and track."

Carswell said Roulston had decided that it was better to withdraw now and take a break before focusing on his preparations for the spring classics road racing season in Europe.