Rohan Dennis, Michael Matthews and Amanda Spratt have all been selected to represent Australia at the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships next month.
With a wealth of talent to choose from, Cycling Australia has confirmed the 20 riders who will race in the white, green and gold in three road races – the men’s, women’s and men’s under-23.
The men’s team will include reigning time trial world champion Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) and world championship silver medallist Michael Matthews (Sunweb), who is likely to be the team leader in Yorkshire.
Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott), runner-up in the 2018 World Championship road race, will contest the women’s event along with her team-mates Sarah Roy and Lucy Kennedy, who won the inaugural women’s Clásica San Sebastián, as well as Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM).
Cycling Australia’s technical director for the road team, Brad McGee, said: “These World Championships will be unique, not like what we have seen in the past. There are a lot of unknowns and I expect these races to be very open and very dynamic.
“Our athletes will need to be very adaptable, well-aligned strategically and technically, with endurance set to be a big factor.”
Matthews is best suited to the Yorkshire course on paper, owing to his climbing ability and his strong kick in a bunch sprint while EF Education First rider Simon Clarke will be hopeful if the altitude gain is the decisive factor in the race.
Dennis has had a turbulent few months, after he abandoned the Tour de France on stage 12 under mysterious circumstances, his motivation still not clear.
His Bahrain-Merida team say they were in the dark about why he stepped off the bike on the road to Bagnères-de-Biggore, saying it was not due to illness or his fitness.
Dennis is also likely to defend his TT title in Yorkshire, alongside his role in the road race team.
In the women’s squad, Spratt is a strong bet after her second place behind Anna van der Breggen last year and her near-miss in the 2019 La Course, while Kennedy came devastatingly close to stage victory in the Giro Rosa and redeemed herself with victory in Sán Sebastián.
McGee added: “Matthews and Simon Clarke have proven themselves in one-day races across similar terrain, while Spratty again has had an outstanding year performing multiple roles.”
The 2019 road race covers a painful 285km for the men and 150km for the women, both finishing with laps of a tight circuit around Harrogate.
Cycling Australia performance director Simon Jones said: “The courses for this year in Yorkshire will be tough and we believe we have picked teams that give us options and the best chance over this terrain and length.”
The Australian teams for the individual time trial and the new mixed relay will be announced closer to the Worlds.
Australian teams for the Yorkshire 2019 World Championship road races:
Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott)
Brodie Chapman (Tibco–Silicon Valley Bank)
Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon–SRAM)
Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott)
Lauren Kitchen (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope)
Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott)
Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott)
Simon Clarke (EF Education First)
Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida)
Mitchell Docker (EF Education First)
Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott)
Nathan Haas (Team Katusha Alpecin)
Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott)
Michael Matthews (Sunweb)
Rory Sutherland (UAE-Team Emirates)
Under 23 Men
Kaden Groves (SEG Racing Academy)
Samuel Jenner (Team Wiggins Le Col)
Liam Magennis (Drapac-Cannondale Holistic Development Team)
Harry Sweeney (EvoPro Racing)
Nicholas White (Team BridgeLane)