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A host of World, Olympic and Commonwealth Games cycling champions will do battle at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome when they line up for Round 2 of the UCI Track World Cup from May 10 to 12.
Sixteen countries have so far confirmed their attendance including the five strongest Commonwealth cycling nations, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Great Britain and New Zealand. All are keen to gauge their form and that of the opposition ahead of the Manchester Commonwealth Games.
The full list of countries competing is: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Ukraine and the USA.
Cycling Australia announced its team to take on the rest of the world. Heading the Australian male sprint contingent is reigning world keirin champion, Ryan Bayley (WA), who will be joined by Wollongong's Ben Kersten (NSW), newly crowned Australian sprint champion and Olympic bronze medallist, Sean Eadie (NSW) and three time Olympian, Shane Kelly (VIC).
The Men's endurance group is 1995 World teams pursuit champion, Rod McGee (NSW), former junior world champion and winner of three gold medals at the recent Australian Titles, Mark Renshaw (NSW), Peter Dawson (WA), Darren Young (TAS) and Stephen Wooldridge (NSW).
Two time Olympic silver medallist, Michelle Ferris (VIC), Queenslander Kerrie Meares, who claimed four gold medals last week, and Rosealee Hubbard (SA), who yesterday claimed the Australian keirin crown, will line up in the sprint events. The women's endurance group is teenage sensation Rochelle Gilmore (NSW) and Amy Safe (SA), who represented Australia in rowing at the 1996 Olympic Games.
While the Australian team is strong it will face tough opposition from the international contingent.
Olympic gold medallist Arnaud Tournant (Fra) (Team Sprint 2000 Olympic champion) comes to Sydney as the reigning world champion and record holder in the one kilometre time trial. Tournant wrested the world crown from three time world champion and former record holder Kelly in 1998 and has held it since then.
Safe will face 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Sarah Ulmer of New Zealand in the 3000m individual pursuit.
Anthony Peden (NZl), the 1999 world keirin silver medallist who has already been named in the New Zealand team for Manchester, will be keen to gain a psychological advantage with a sprint win over his Australian rivals before the Commonwealth Games. (Keirin is not a Commonwealth Games event.)
Goodwill Games points race gold medallist, Erin Mirabella, will lead the way for the American team while Canada has named Goodwill Games sprint silver medallist, Lori-Ann Muenzer in their start list.