Having found the podium at all five of the previous UCI Road and Track World Championships, Australia’s Melissa Hoskins is one rider who can produce when it comes to racing on the world’s biggest stage.
West Australia’s Hoskins will once again represent Australia in 2014, this time as the only dual discipline representative selected in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games team.
Hoskins will become the eighth Australian woman in Games history to represent Australia both on the road and the track at the same Games, with Kathy Watt and Rochelle Gilmore having completing the road/track double twice in their illustrious careers.
“I had targeted the road race for Commonwealth Games last year but that meant a lot of hard work as there are some extremely talented ladies on the road all of which could have easily been in my place,” said Hoskins, 23, who with her ORICA-AIS team have won two medals at the previous two team time trial road world championships.
“(Juggling the two) is always a challenge, but if done right, they work hand in hand. Now I want to make sure I achieve the expectations I’ve set myself.”
Hoskins features in part of an experienced women’s track endurance squad that includes reigning points world champion Amy Cure and four-time reigning national and 2014 world championship medallist Annette Edmondson.
“Its like London all over again. Nettie, Amy and I have learnt a lot since London,” said Hoskins, who has found the podium at the past three Track World Championships via the team pursuit and scratch race. “Not having the team pursuit opens up new opportunities for me with the bunch races, so the change is quite nice.
“Obviously we are all going there hoping to walk away with a medal but bunch races can be a little bit of luck as well, to be on the podium in either would be great but we will have to wait and see!”
On the road, Hoskins forms part of a six-member women’s team that features reigning national road champion Gracie Elvin, Oceania time trial champion Shara Gillow and 2010 Games bronze medallist Chloe Hosking, Tiffany Cromwell and Katrin Garfoot.
“The team has a little bit of everything and plenty of experience which is what I think it will come down to,” explained Hoskins. “Armistead is definitely the one to watch, but we have plenty of cards to play.
Hoskins has just completed a men’s and women’s endurance camp in Flagstaff Arizona, and is now in Italy contesting the 2014 Giro Rosa with Orica-AIS.
“I’ve had a slightly more road focused preparation, but I am used to that having competed at Qatar prior to Track Worlds. I’m looking forward to hitting the boards after the Tour.”
And if being selected on both teams isn’t enough, Hoskins will be able to share the experience with her partner Rohan Dennis, who lines up the men’s road team.
“Its actually super exciting, since the London Olympic Games we haven’t really been to a race together. We both work so hard for our spots on the road so I’m glad we will be there to support each other.”
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