Australia will send a team of just four riders to the 2018 UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, over February 28 to March 4.
Cycling Australia said that its focus is on the 2018 Commonwealth Games – hosted by the Gold Coast, Queensland, over April 4-15 – rather than the World Championships.
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“In line with the CA High Performance Strategy, the Commonwealth Games has been set as the benchmark event of the year, rather than Track Worlds, and this is reflected in the smaller than usual team for the event,” said a Cycling Australia statement issued on Wednesday.
“This is a one-off strategy for 2018, as the 2019/2020 Track Worlds will be part of Olympic qualification.”
What Australia’s team lack in quantity it gains in quality, with four medal contenders attending the Worlds: Stephanie Morton, Matthew Glaetzer, Cameron Meyer and Callum Scotson.
Morton will contest the sprint, keirin and 500m time trial; Meyer will ride in the points race; Scotson in the scratch race; and Glaetzer will ride in the sprint, keirin and kilometre time trial. Meyer and Scotson will also ride in the Madison.
Glaetzer has already shown he is on top form this season, setting a new sea-level world record in the kilometre time trial by becoming the first rider to dip under the one-minute mark.
Track rivals Great Britain have yet to announce their team for the 2018 Worlds, but the line-up for the final UCI World Cup round in Minsk, Belarus (January 19-21) was announced on Thursday. It consists of just five riders: Elinor Barker, Megan Barker, Lauren Bate, Georgia Hilleard and Chris Latham.
Bate and Hilleard will both make their World Cup debut.
“Both are in the first year of the Senior Academy and both are 2017 junior World Championship medalists, with the duo winning bronze in the team sprint and Lauren winning silver in the sprint,” said British Cycling head coach Iain Dyer.
“It will be invaluable for them, and also for fellow Senior Academy rider Megan, to be in the same environment as Elinor and Chris and to learn more about race preparation and dealing with the pressure of competing at elite level.”
GB’s quintet are not the only British riders in the event, however, as Wales and Team KGF will also field squads at the event.