Comm Games cyclists on show in Sydney - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Comm Games cyclists on show in Sydney

By Roger Vaughan 02/03/2006 06:14:49 PM Comments (0)

Olympic champion Anna Meares leads a quartet of Australian Commonwealth Games track cyclists who will race this weekend at the Sydney World Cup.

Most of the track squad is at a pre-Games camp in Adelaide and the 14-rider team for Sydney will be focussed on development as the national track program goes through a post-Athens rebuild.

Meares, fellow sprinter Shane Perkins, all-rounder Ben Kersten and points score specialist Sean Finning will compete this weekend ahead of the Games for various reasons.

It was felt Meares and Perkins needed more racing, while Kersten is trying to cement a Games keirin berth and Finning is out to qualify for the points at next month's world championships in Bordeaux, France.

Meares is on a carefully-monitored training program because of the back problems she suffered late last year.

"Through her injury earlier in the season she missed a bit of racing, so after the national championships (last month) we thought it was important that she get a bit more racing rehearsal," said national coach Martin Barras.

"She was a little bit rusty at nationals."

Meares beat older sister Kerrie to win the sprint at the nationals, but she missed the 500m time trial because of her ongoing back issues.

Anna is set to ride the 500, where she is Olympic champion and world record holder, and sprint at the Games.

Immediately after the Australian titles, Barras revealed Anna was only in competition mode now because of the Games.

While Meares' back is an ongoing issue, Barras said Finning could raise a few eyebrows with the strength of his form in Sydney.

"I saw him again a couple of days ago in training and the poor guy, `Macca' (track endurance coach Ian McKenzie) was abusing the hell out of him on the track from the motorbike - but for good reason, he's going extremely well at the moment," Barras said of Finning.

"I would strongly suspect he'll not only notch up his qualifying for the world championships, but he'll put a very, very good performance on the track.

"I think people will get pretty excited about the way he's racing and how fit he is at the moment."

The Cup round, which runs from Friday to Sunday, will feature 193 cyclists from 35 countries.

Reigning world champions Theo Bos and Teun Mulder (The Netherlands), Volodymyr Rybin (Ukraine) and Alex Rasmussen (Denmark) will compete.

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