Date: Wednesday, 23 September 2015
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Anna MearesOlympic gold medallist Anna Meares will be one of many headline acts for the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Invercargill in October.

The teams have been confirmed and feature some high profile riders, a strong Southland flavour and the return of the experienced Hayden Roulston.

The Australian team features some big names including Meares, the four-time 500 metre time trial world champion and current Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

Cycling Southland communications officer Melissa Chilton is pleased with the quality of the field.

"We are absolutely delighted with the entry numbers and calibre of riders from throughout New Zealand and Australia. This really is the ultimate thrust into the track season, it kicks off the spring-summer busy period of road and track events culminating in the Track National Championships in February and March next year," she said.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games sprint gold medallist, Stephanie Morton, will also compete in Invercargill, in the sprint, team sprint and keirin. 

Matthew Glaetzer and Shane Perkins from the Australian 2012 world championships winning team sprint combination will ride the same event, creating a mouth-watering clash in the men's team sprint with New Zealand riders Eddie Dawkins, Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell who are the current world championship silver medallists.

There are over 150 riders entered across all categories, with 22 riding for Southland, while there are five locals in the New Zealand senior team.

Southland riders Dawkins, Cam Karkowski, Nick Kergozou, Natasha Hansen and Kirstie James are racing in national colours for the event where they will join 34-year-old Ashburton rider Hayden Roulston who returns from a seven-year hiatus from track cycling.

New Zealand team rider Matt Archibald. who won a bronze medal in the 1000m time trial at the world championships, will ride for Southland while Olympic keirin bronze medallist Simon van Velthooven, will ride for his province of West Coast North Island and 2013 omnium world champion Aaron Gate will also be riding for New Zealand.

The event is important for riders hoping to qualify for the Rio Olympics next year.

"It is fundamental in our Elite and Development NZ teams accumulating points which are invaluable in their ultimate selection for the team attending the Rio Olympic Games in 2016," Chilton said.

The Oceania event run from October 8 to 11. 

Article and photo courtesy of Stuff

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