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Cycling squad full of gold potential

June 12, 2012 17:04 pm

A team full of Olympic gold medal hopefuls is poised to be revealed when Britain's cycling squad for London 2012 is announced in Manchester on Wednesday.

At British Cycling's headquarters, something of a gold medal factory, Olympic champions Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny, Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Nicole Cooke are poised to be named alongside prolific winner Mark Cavendish, track protege Laura Trott and BMX ace Shanaze Reade.

Cavendish was the only member of a British track team which won seven of 10 events to return home without a medal in 2008, but now is favourite for road race success.

A team of five riders will take to the start line with Chris Froome, Ian Stannard, Jeremy Hunt, Steve Cummings, Alex Dowsett and Ben Swift in contention to support Cavendish. Tour de France contender Wiggins is set to be among them, but his Olympic aim will be the time-trial on August 1.

The women's team is also set to be a long list, with the main decision still to come - will defending champion Cooke or Lizzie Armitstead lead the squad? Emma Pooley, Sharon Laws, Lucy Martin and Katie Colclough are also set to be included, with four riders to take to the start line and two to compete in the time-trial.

It is still to be determined whether Hoy or Kenny will be granted the one sprint spot in London, meaning the Scot could yet be denied the chance to defend one of the three titles he won in 2008.

The duo are poised to be joined in the sprint squad by 19-year-old German-born Philip Hindes, with Clancy and Thomas in the endurance group alongside Steven Burke, Peter Kennaugh and Andy Tennant.

Pendleton, for whom the Olympics will be her final competition before retirement, will team up with Jess Varnish, with Trott, Joanna Rowsell, Dani King and Wendy Houvenaghel in the endurance events.

All eyes will be on three-time world champion Reade in the BMX. Liam Phillips may be given every opportunity to prove his fitness and take the men's place after suffering a fractured collar bone at the Birmingham World Championships, otherwise the place will go to an Olympic debutant.

The mountain bike places are set to go to Liam Killeen, who has recorded top-10 finishes at the last two Games, and Annie Last.

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