Aussie Worlds Team

24Aug10

This isn’t my best or most articulate blog but regardless here it is. First things first. I made a mistake in my last post. Australia is not untitled to have ten riders. That is an old rule that no longer applies.

Now that we have that out of the way we can talk about the news that Australia announced it’s elite men and under 23 men’s teams for The World Cmapionships.

For the Road Race the following riders were picked:

1.            Baden COOKE (Benalla, VIC 10.12.1978 / Saxo Bank)

2.            Allan DAVIS (Bundaberg, QLD 27.07.1980 / Astana)

3.            Cadel EVANS (Barwon Heads, VIC 14.02.1977 / Team BMC)

4.            Simon GERRANS (Jamieson, VIC 16.05.1980 / Team Sky)

5.            Matthew GOSS (Cressy, TAS 05.11.1986 / HTC-Columbia)

6.            Mathew HAYMAN (Araluen, NSW/ rep ACT 20.04.1978 / Team Sky)

7.            Stuart O’GRADY OAM (Unley Park, SA 06.08.1973 / Saxo Bank)

8.            Michael ROGERS (Garren, ACT 20.12.1979 / HTC-Columbia)

9.            Wesley SULZBERGER (Flowery Gully, TAS 20.10.1986 / Francaise des Jeux)

And for the Time Trial:

1.            Richie PORTE (Hadspen, TAS 30.01.1985 / Saxo Bank)

2.            Michael ROGERS (Garren, ACT 20.12.1979 / HTC-Columbia)

Personally it’s not the team I would have picked. It’s not even the team that Paolo Bettini (selector and director for the Italian team) would have picked.

“Freire, Hushovd and Haussler will all be dangerous. Haussler has changed nationality and so Australia will build the team around him.”-Bettini

2006 and 2007 World Champion and 2004 Olympic Games Champion

Unfortunately I don’t see a name on Australia’s team that could compete for the win on The Geelong Course. Each Aussie rider that has been picked is an extremely good rider in their own right and more than capable at winning races. I just don’t think this is a team that can work to win a World Championships on this course.

It’s way too easy to be critical. So I will put my neck out there and name the team I would have picked. I am not privy to a lot of the information that the selectors have so their decision may still prove accurate. My team is based on the theory that the race will come down to a small bunch sprint (40 riders-like Milan San Remo) or a small group so my leaders have been picked to cover those outcomes.

Fillipo Pozzato wins Milan San Remo in 2006

  1. Robbie McEwen
  2. Henrich Haussler
  3. Cadel Evans
  4. Simon Gerrans
  5. Matthew Goss
  6. Matt Hayman
  7. Baden Cooke
  8. Stuart O’Grady
  9. Brett Lancaster

Cavendish beats Haussler in Milan San Remo in 2009

McEwen and Haussler have been picked for a bunch sprint whether it is between 200 or 40 riders. Haussler is also a rider that can go with moves and be in a selection over the climbs.

Gerrans and Evans have been picked if the course proves very difficult and are there to go in and force the pace in the last few laps.

Goss and Lancaster are the primary lead out men.

Hayman, Cooke and O’Grady are the Domestiques.

To be critical of my selection is that it could be more specific. The next option is to drop McEwen and bring in another worker. However, I feel confident that Robbie and Haussler would be able to work together to make their selection work. Personally I feel that these two are the ones that could actually deliver the win for Australia.

Haussler and McEwen have both had difficult years, however, McEwen in particular has proven his form is there and growing. More than that he is experienced at this level and peaking for it. Haussler has proven himself in the classics, which, are of a similar distance and competitive level that will be faced at the worlds.

The course seems difficult enough to make a selection but nowhere near difficult enough to suit Cadel or even Gerro.

My favorites for the race are Andre Gripel from Germany, Fillipo Pozzato from Italy and Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland.

Pozzato-09/10 Italian National Champion in action at The 2010 Paris Roubaix


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