Four Launceston cyclists have been given national support as they chase their goals in an Olympic year.
Track endurance specialists Georgia Baker and Josh Duffy were joined by road rider Hamish McKenzie and mountain biker Sam Fox in the latest AusCycling squad with Tasmanian Institute of Sport coach Matt Gilmore saying all four are making strong progress on the international stage.
Last year's Tasmanian Athlete of the Year, Baker is among those categorised as a podium rider as the 29-year-old chases a possible third Olympic appearance in the wake of her three gold medals at last year's Commonwealth Games.
She is joined by long-time national teammate Alex Manly, of South Australia, in the women's track endurance squad and on a training camp in Adelaide ahead of next weekend's national omnium and madison championships.
"Georgia is in really good shape at the moment and is set for a massive year for obvious reasons," Gilmore said.
"Her road commitments for the year are focused on her being in the best possible shape for the Olympic Games."
Duffy is named in the men's track endurance squad categorised as "podium ready". The 23-year-old was part of the Australian team pursuit line-up which claimed a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and, like Baker, is using pro commitments on the road to support his ambitions on the track.
Gilmore said Duffy had been hit by some untimely illness at a recent training camp but was also firmly on the Paris radar.
"He's progressing well and 2024 is a big focus for him to crack into an Olympic team. He will do some road racing this year ahead of some camps in Majorca and Portugal pending selections."
McKenzie and Fox have both been classified as "podium potential".
Nineteen-year-old McKenzie won two gold medals (time trial and criterium) at the 2022 national junior road championships and added a silver and bronze at junior and under-23 world titles.
"Hamish is back home after a big season in Europe," Gilmore said.
"His result at the under-23 time trial world champs was fantastic and then he had a stagiaire role with his road team which really stretched the season out and he needed a rest.
"He's now building up towards road nationals. The focus for him is to be really good in the road season in Europe and if you go too hard too early it can be a really long season."
Fox, 23, is the reigning Australian cross-country mountain bike champion who is chasing an Olympic berth following his sixth-placed finish at last year's Commonwealth Games but may be thwarted by the international quota system.
"Sam is knuckling down hard and getting ready for mountain bike nationals and then a fully-fledged season in Europe with his mountain bike team," Gilmore said.
"It's going to be very hard for Australia to qualify a spot in the Olympic mountain biking but Sam has shown great progression and this season is going to be really important for him to cement his place as Australia's leading mountain biker."
In May, AusCycling announced the developing categorisation for 2023-24 with Launceston's Lauren Perry and Izzy Flint in the track sprint and mountain bike cross-country respectively and Burnie's William Eaves in track endurance. Eaves' brother Alex was in the emerging track endurance category alongside Sam McKee, Hayden van der Ploeg and Jonas Shelverton with Felicity Wilson-Haffenden and Campbell Palmer in the road equivalent.