Brailsford hails strong cycling squad
June 13, 2012 17:41 pm
Great Britain's most successful Olympic team is set to be stronger than ever at London 2012, according to British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford and team talisman Sir Chris Hoy.
Brailsford led Britain to a haul of eight gold medals in Beijing four years' ago, with Hoy winning three of them. There were few surprises as the team was announced at the Manchester Velodrome on Wednesday, with Hoy joined by fellow Olympic champions Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Wiggins.
Brailsford said: "There's a strength in depth that we always talk about and actually this team's got a strength in breadth. It is, across all disciplines, very, very competitive for the podium. There's a great mix, young and old."
David Millar has been included in the long list for the men's road team which will support Mark Cavendish's bid for glory on the opening day of the Games. The final five and four-rider men and women's road squads will be selected later this month, and Cavendish wants to see Millar named in the team for July 28.
Brailsford added: "You've got the experience of the likes of Vicky, Chris and Bradley, who have been to several Games now, and then you've got the exuberance of the Laura Trotts, Dani Kings, Jess Varnishes, all bursting through on to the scene."
Hoy's first Olympic title came in Athens in 2004, but his Beijing bounty saw him become a household name and London will be his fourth Games. The 36-year-old Scot said: "We're finally here. It's really exciting. I'm very proud to be part of this team and it really is, I believe, the strongest team we've had."
There are selection decisions still to come, particularly whether Hoy gets the nod in the sprint ahead of Jason Kenny, the Beijing silver medallist. Brailsford's rationale for leaving Hoy and Kenny to wait is based around form and Britain have up until 48 hours before the event begins on August 4 to declare their selection.
Hoy added: "There's no point in worrying about, it's out with your control. All you can do is train hard. Whoever gets selected for the sprint, in particular, will do a great job, whether it's Jason or myself."
Changes to the Olympic programme and the limitation of one entrant per event mean it is highly unlikely Britain will emulate their success in Beijing, but there is medal potential across the track as proved by five gold from 10 Games events at April's World Championships in Melbourne.
"If you look at every single event, you certainly wouldn't bet against a GB gold medal," Hoy added. "The chances of doing it in 10 events out of 10 are very slim, but it's not impossible."
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