CAMPERDOWN can now lay claim to two Olympic cyclists after Grace Brown was selected for the Australian road race team heading to Tokyo.
The 28-year-old joins the late Kevin Bradshaw as the town's second cycling representative on the Olympic stage.
Bradshaw, who passed away suddenly in March, competed in the individual road race and team time-trial events 40 years ago at the 1980 Moscow Games.
Brown, who will ride in the time-trial and road race at the Tokyo Games, is the fifth south-west cyclist to make an Australian Olympic team.
Bradshaw, silver medallist Clyde Sefton (1972 Munich), dual silver medallist Michelle Ferris (1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney) and Michael Lynch (1984 Los Angeles) are the others.
The Team BikeExchange rider, who is based in Italy, is one of three debutants in the women's team with Sarah Gigante and Tiffany Cromwell also securing a ticket to Tokyo.
Dual World Championship medallist Amanda Spratt, Brown's teammate on the WorldTour, has been selected for her third Olympics.
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Brown's father Tony said he was proud of her achievement and praised the commitment she had shown to reaching the top of her sport.
"She has basically shown she has great resilience, a strategic mind and perseverance to come through with such a result," he said. "Look at the way she has improved the last couple of years after she had a late start (to the sport) but understood how it works, how to place herself and how to drive the agenda in the peloton.
"She's never a passive member of the peloton and is always active and looking for opportunities and the results have shown for itself.
"She's always there for her team and she will empty herself to put her teammates in the right position.
"We've been watching her build and learning her skills and putting in the base. She's very strategic with her approach and her coach Felicity Wardlaw has done a great job to enable Grace to actualise her enormous talent."
Tony said the Tokyo Olympics was one of Brown's targets for 2021.
She was also targeting the spring classics, where she collected six top-10 finishes including a victory at Brugge De-Panne and two podium finishes, and the World Championships in September.
The Executive Director of Medical Services of Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service and his wife Ruth Stewart, who now live in Queensland, watch Brown's career closely from Australia and chat to her frequently.
Amanda Spratt is excited to ride alongside Brown and the team's other debutants in Tokyo.
"We've got a really great team for Tokyo," she said.
"We've got a great road captain in Tiffany Cromwell, we've seen what Grace has been doing over in Europe and that youth of Sarah Gigante we've got a strong and well-rounded team that will really suit this course."
AusCycling performance director Simon Jones welcomed the selected athletes.
"I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge every rider who put their hand up for the Olympics," he said.
"The selection process never gets easier and that's because we have a strong and competitive team.
"I'm immensely proud of the riders who will be representing Australia in Tokyo, and we are very excited to see how everyone in the team meets the challenge of what's likely to be a unique Games experience."
Brown is also racing this week for Team BikeExchange in the first WorldTour stage race of the season.
Climbers Amanda Spratt and local Basque rider Ane Santesteban, who has enjoyed three top-10 finishes in the recent Spanish races, will lead BikeExchange's quest for glory.
Brown, Australian champion Sarah Roy, New Zealand champion Georgia Williamsand Italian sprinter Arianna Fidanza will be supporting the duo.
This is the first time the women's peloton will ride the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas after it was added to the calendar for the 2021 season.