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Aussies confident but wary

24 Mar 06 23:23
Australian cyclist Ben Day celebrating his silver medal in the Men's Time Trial earlier in the Games.

Australian cyclist Ben Day celebrating his silver medal in the Men's Time Trial earlier in the Games.

A confident Australian Men’s Road Cycling team has identified England, New Zealand and Canada as the main obstacles in the Sunday’s Road Race.

Senior Australian team official Neil Stephens is confident he has a well-rounded team to do the job, but played down a repeat of Manchester, saying he wants to know who he’s up against.

Stephens is wary of New Zealand, England and Canada, but also can’t rule out a challenge from South Africa.

“We’ve got some stiff opposition,” he told a media conference.

“There’s good individual riders in various teams. I’m eager to see the final team lists.”

“The more extreme the weather the better for us. The boys have had solid preparation leading into this race. The better the preparation the stronger the rider,” Stephens said.

Ben Day, Peter Dawson, William Walker, Mathew Hayman, Allan Davis, and Aaron Kemps make up the Australian Men’s team.

All have been competing in Europe with their individual international squads, which gave the riders permission to return to Australia in the last fortnight for the Games. All say they are ready to compete.

“We have a great team,” on-course team leader Hayman said.

“The riders are able to perform on different terrain with different capabilities. We have guys that are explosive, which is needed on this course.”

“It’s a class field. It’s a bike race. We never underestimate anyone,” Davis added.

Australia cyclists Stuart O’Grady, Cadel Evans and Baden Cooke took gold silver and bronze at Manchester.

- Games News Service

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