Road and mountain bikes take centre stage for cycling

By NATHAN JOHN,
sports editor

Australia’s road cycling and mountain bike teams will spin the wheels this week, with the late start enabling key participants such as Steele Von Hoff and Chloe Hosking to recover from injuries in time to compete.

With the first medal event to take place tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, we take a look at the Australian riders most likely to challenge over the coming days.

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Alex Edmondson training in France this year.

ROAD

Individual time trials will be held at the Currumbin Beachfront from 10am tomorrow, while the road races will run on Saturday, April 14, from 7.45am.

The road race will start on the waterfront and run through the suburbs of Currumbin, Elanora and Palm Beach, while the time trial will incorporate stretches of the road race course as well as the Tallebudgera and Currumbin Valleys, showcasing the Gold Coast’s hinterlands.

Alex Edmondson – who won the Australian national championship this year and picked up medals at both the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Rio Olympic Games – is shaping as the best medal chance among Australia’s men, next to Mathew Hayman, a gold medallist in Melbourne back in 2006.

Set to compete in his first Commonwealth Games, despite fracturing four vertebrae earlier in the year, veteran rider Steele von Hoff should play a role assisting his teammates rather than leading as a sprinter.

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Katrin Garfoot in the world championships time trial last year.

Australia’s top women’s road cyclist in Katrin Garfoot is seeking gold in her home city, with a break looming after the games. She has won the last three Australian time trial championships and placed at the world championships, and finished second in the road race at the world championships in 2017.

Chloe Hosking was hospitalised after a crash in Belgium but with the road race to be held on the second-last day of competition, Hosking has had time to recover and the winner of the 2018 Great Ocean Road Race will be favoured should the race come to a sprint. 

Australian team
Men – Alexander Edmondson, Callum Scotson, Cameron Meyer, Mathew Hayman, Mitchell Docker, Steele Von Hoff
Women – Chloe Hosking, Gracie Elvin, Katrin Garfoot, Sarah Roy, Shannon Malseed, Tiffany Cromwell

MOUNTAIN BIKE

Finals will be held on Thursday, April 12, on the Nerang Mountain Bike Trails. The women’s event will take place at 10.30am followed by the men at 1.30pm.  

Designed and built for the Games, the track was opened in February last year and will see spectators seated amid the action in a discipline that has often seen riders disappear from view for periods of time.

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Daniel McConnell in action at the Rio Olympic Games.

This has ramifications for riders, who in the event of a break must either fix it themselves or reach a Technical Assistance Zone.

Canberra couple Rebecca and Daniel McConnell will be Australia’s entrants, the pair both falling short of placing at the Oceania mountain bike championships in Dunedin  in February with New Zealand riders Samara Sheppard and Anton Cooper claiming gold in their respective elite categories.