New Zealand will send a team of six under-19 road cyclists to the Netherlands next month for the UCI Road World Championships. BikeNZ Road and Track announced the final squad today, comprising five men and one woman.
They are Nick Bain (Auckland), Dylan Kennett (Waimate, Tom Vessey (Central Otago), Sean Hambrook (Tasman), Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu) and Sophie Williamson (Central Otago). Auckland's James Judd is first reserve.
The championships are in Limburg, Netherlands on September 15-23 with the time trial and road race.
"It's a tough ask to travel to the other side of the world to race, especially on a physically hardening road course like the one in Limburg, but I'm confident this team can do themselves and their country proud," said BikeNZ Development Manager Amy Taylor.
Bain and Kennett will race against the clock around the 26.6km time trial course on September 17, hoping to emulate the feat of North Harbour James Oram who won an impressive silver medal last year.
Williamson will compete in the 15.6km women's individual time trial the following day, before backing up three days later in the road race over 65kms.
The remaining squad members, Vessey, Hambrook and McCormick will compete on the final day in the junior men's road race over 129kms.
"The team will be primarily based in Blauberg [Belgium], which is about an hour away from the Limberg, so they'll be able to focus on their own individual preparations without the distraction of waiting around nervously while everyone else races," said Taylor.
Preparation for this event will take a quick turn-around for Kennett, McCormick and Williamson who will be in action at the Invercargill velodrome in late-August for the UCI Juniors Track World Championships.
"Making the transition between track and road is actually quite difficult, but the three New Zealand riders who have been selected for both events have enough experience to be able to adjust quickly and still perform to their potential in both disciplines," said Taylor.
The team is: (Time Trial): Dylan Kennett (Waimate), Nick Bain (Auckland), Sophie Williamson (Central Otago), Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu) - 1st reserve; Tom Vessey (Central Otago) - 2nd reserve.
Road race: Vessey, McCormick, Sean Hambrook (Tasman), Sophie Williamson. James Judd - 1st reserve (non-travelling, Auckland); Kennett - 2nd reserve, Bain - 3rd reserve.