Cycling New Zealand has named a six-strong team, including Wanaka's Mikayla Harvey, to compete at the UCI Road World Championships in USA in September.
Three of the team will be first-year juniors, which is an exciting prospect for the future, according to Cycling New Zealand High Performance Athlete Development Manager, Graeme Hunn.
There was strong competition for places in the team with the selected riders all achieving stand-out performances this year.
“It is a strong team across the men and the women and we expect good performances,” Hunn said. “They have all shown consistency at domestic events, and internationally at the Oceania and Australian Championships.
“With three first-year athletes performing currently at this level we can expect an even stronger showing in 2016 and overall talent of the team augers well for the future of these young athletes and road racing in general.”
The team is: Sam Dobbs (Cambridge) – road race, time trial; James Fouche (Auckland) – road race, time trial; Robert Stannard (Palmerston North) – road race; Georgia Catterick (Blenheim) – road race, time trial; Hannah Gumbley (Auckland) – road race; Mikayla Harvey (Wanaka) – road race.
Dobbs is the current national time trail champion and third in the road race, with some outstanding recent success in a training and competition stint in Belgium as well as experience in the National Road Series in Australia.
Fouche is a young rider with considerable potential finishing runner-up in the time trial at both the Australian and New Zealand Championships.
Stannard has been ultra-consistent finishing on the podium at the Oceania Time Trial, the national road race and time trial as well as second in the road race at the Mersey Valley Tour and third on general classification in the Tour of Tasmania.
Catterick was second at the national time trail and fifth in the road race at Mersey Valley along with runner-up in the under-19 Tour of Tasmania.
Gumbly won the Australian Road Championship and was third in the New Zealand nationals to mark some fast-improving performances, while Harvey is the current New Zealand road race champion in her first year in the under-19 division.
The elite team will be named later this month, with the championships set for 19-27 September in Richmond, Virginia. The team time trial is on 19 September, followed by the junior women and under-23 men, the junior men and women with the elite men on 23 September.
The road competition begins on 25 September with the junior women and under-23 men, the junior men and elite women on 26 September and the elite men on 27 September.