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Matthews eyes world cycling gold in Norway

Richie Porte had wanted to ride in support of Michael Matthews at the road worlds but he hasn't recovered in time from his Tour de France crash injuries.

Matthews eyes world cycling gold in Norway

Richie Porte had wanted to ride in support of Michael Matthews at the road worlds but he hasn't recovered in time from his Tour de France crash injuries.

Tour de France green jersey winner Michael Matthews will spearhead the Australian team at the world road cycling championships in Norway.

Matthews, with two stage wins at the July Tour, will have a strong team around him for the September 16-24 event in Bergen.


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Richie Porte had hoped to prove his fitness and have a role supporting Matthews in the September 24 men's elite road race.

But Porte hasn't recovered in time from the horrific injuries he suffered when he crashed out of the Tour in stage nine.

It's understood Porte and the selectors made a mutual decision.

Matthews will be supported by a powerful team for the road race, with Mat Hayman, Simon Clarke, Luke Durbridge, Heinrich Haussler, Mitch Docker, Jack Haig, Jay McCarthy and Rory Sutherland the other selections.

Haussler is the surprise selection - the 2015 Australian road champion is an undoubted talent, but injury means he has raced only sparingly this season.

It's two years since Matthews won a controversial silver medal in the worlds road race.

Matthews was unhappy that team goals were divided between himself and Simon Gerrans, who had a top-10 finish, rather than Australia riding solely for him.

There's little doubt the Australian team's goal in Bergen will be a world champion's rainbow jersey for Matthews.

Rohan Dennis will also be a medal chance in the road time trial. He will not compete in the road race.

Dennis has pulled out of the Vuelta a Espana because of a throat infection, with the road worlds influencing the decision.

"It's difficult to pull out now, knowing that I'm one of the favourites for the time trial tomorrow," Dennis said in a BMC team media release.

"But my priority is getting my health right before the world championships, so I know it's the right thing to do."

Rio Olympian Kat Garfoot will lead the Australian women's team, with Gracie Elvin, Amanda Spratt, Shara Gillow and Sarah Roy also competing in the road race.

Garfoot will contest the time trial as well.

Rising star Lucas Hamilton headlines the men's under-23 team.


AAP



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