20 Jan 2016

NZ road cycists to target time trial in Rio

9:25 am on 20 January 2016

Cycling New Zealand's high performance director Mark Elliott says the road team at the Rio Olympics will be targetting the individual time trial.

Jesse Sergent of New Zealand competes in the Men's Time Trial. Road Cycling Individual Time Trial at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Glasgow, Scotland.

Jesse Sergent of New Zealand competes in the Men's Time Trial. Road Cycling Individual Time Trial at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Glasgow, Scotland. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand has been allocated just 2 men's positions for the road race and one for the time trial.

The women's places are yet to be finalised.

Australia has more dominant riders on the pro tour and therefore they have been allocated more spots from this region.

Elliott says the Rio road race course is so tough it's likely to be won by someone of the calibre of a Tour de France mountain stage winner.

"Rio is probably one of the toughest Olympic courses we have ever seen , it has a lot of technical parts with lots of little climbs and a couple of big climbs," said Elliott.

"Our focus is not really going to be around the road race it will certainly be on the time trial and therefore when we look at cyclists and their schedules over the next few months it'll be with the time trial in mind first and the road race second."

2015 world time trial champion Linda Villumsen.

2015 world time trial champion Linda Villumsen. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Meanwhile world time trial champion Linda Villumsen was a part of the New Zealand team that finished fifth in the Tour Down Under in Australia this week.

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