Tokyo Olympics: Sarah Walker misses out as New Zealand finalise 19-strong cycling outfit for Tokyo Olympics

New Zealand has finalised their 19-strong cycling team for this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo, albeit without London 2012 silver medal-winning BMX rider, Sarah Walker.

Already having selected 15 track riders to compete at the Tokyo Games starting next month, the New Zealand Olympic Committee finalised the last four spots in BMX, road cycling and mountain biking to travel to Japan.

Walker, 32, has been overlooked in favour of 23-year-old Rebecca Petch for New Zealand's sole BMX spot. 

In April, Walker opted not to compete in overseas qualifying tournaments this year, leaving selectors to only use past results to decide which rider took the one spot. Petch has won the New Zealand BMX national title three times. 

Petch has never missed the podium in seven years of competing at the New Zealand national championships, medalling every year since the age of 16.

The European-based duo of George Bennett and Patrick Bevin make up New Zealand's road cycling contingent.

Bennett, 31, returns for his second Olympic tilt after competing four years ago in Rio de Janeiro, while 30-year-old Bevin will ride in his first Games.

Having risen as high as 26th in the world rankings in 2020, Bennett will compete in the road race and the time trial in Tokyo. Bennett currently rides for Belgian outfit Jumbo-Visma.

Bevin, who rides for Israel Start-Up Nation, specialises in time trial, and narrowly missed out on a medal at the World Championships two years ago in England. He'll also ride in the road race alongside Bennett.

Anton Cooper, 26, is the sole rider in the mountain bike cross country, currently ranked inside the world's top 10, sitting ninth in the UCI standings.

Cooper also won silver at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018.

"Well done to all four of the athletes selected today," NZ Olympic Committee chief executive Kereyn Smith says. 

"New Zealand is a proud cycling nation whether it be BMX, mountainbike, road or track, and we can't wait to cheer you on in just over a month's time," said Smith.

New Zealand's cycling outfit will be in action on 12 of the 17 days of the Tokyo Olympics.