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Olympics-Australia name big guns for cycling world championships
ADELAIDE, March 14 |
ADELAIDE, March 14 (Reuters) - Australia's Anna Meares leads a squad of eight title-holders into next month's track cycling world championships in Melbourne, as the hosts aim to wrest back the initiative from arch-rivals Britain after coming off second best at the Olympic test event.
Reigning sprint and keirin champion Meares will bid for a 10th world title and a fourth with Kaarle McCulloch in the team sprint at the April 4-8 championships at Hisense Arena.
Men's keirin world champion Shane Perkins will also line up in the sprint and in the team sprint with Scott Sunderland and 19-year-old Matthew Glaetzer in the 19-member squad named on Wednesday.
"Preparations have been going well and everyone has been working hard to be in top form for the championships," Cycling Australia national performance director Kevin Tabotta said in a statement.
"This is a rare opportunity for the team to race at the very highest level in front of a home crowd with family and friends in the stands to support them.
"To claim the rainbow jersey of world champion is a very special honour but the most important thing is for each and every member of the team to deliver their very best and I'm confident that will be the case in Melbourne."
Cameron Meyer, who races with Australian pro cycling team GreenEDGE, will team up with Leigh Howard to defend their madison title.
The squad will be culled to 18, with individual pursuit world champion Jack Bobridge vying with Rohan Dennis, Michael Hepburn, Alexander Edmondson and Mitchell Mulhern for four places on the endurance team.
Australia's "Cyclones" destroyed the competition at last year's world titles in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands, taking eight golds, two silvers and a bronze from 19 events.
They came a distant second to Britain at the World Cup meeting in London at the Olympic velodrome last month, however, as packed stands roared the hosts to a table-topping haul.
Sprint events - Kaarle McCulloch, Anna Meares, Matthew Glaetzer, James Glasspool, Shane Perkins, Scott Sunderland
Endurance events - Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure, Annette Edmonson, Melissa Hoskins, Josephine Tomic, Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alexander Edmonson, Michael Hepburn, Leigh Howard, Cameron Meyer, Mitchell Mulhern, Glenn O'Shea.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)
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