Owain Doull is convinced he can shine at the Road World Championships while Great Britain will host Japan in their 2016 Davis Cup opener. Here's our review of the last 24 hours.
- Owain Doull is part of a five-strong Great Britain team for the Under-23 road race at the Worlds in Richmond, USA on Friday.
- Japan will be Britain's first opponents in the 2016 Davis Cup
- Alyson Dixon is drawing inspiration from Paula Radcliffe ahead of her attempt to reach the Olympic qualifying standard at the Berlin Marathon
Doull confident of strong performance at Worlds
Owain Doull believes a course well-suited to his strengths could help propel him to glory at the Road World Championships in Richmond, USA on Friday.
Doull is part of a five-strong Great Britain team who will compete in the Under-23 men’s road race on the 162.2km course.
The 22-year-old is joined by Alex Peters, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Scott Davies and Gabz Cullaigh in the British squad and insists that any of the quintet could excel if thrust into a leader’s role.
Doull finished third at the Tour of Britain earlier this month, picking up the points jersey in the process, while he came an impressive fifth in the Under-23 time trial at the Worlds on Monday.
And the Welshman is convinced he is primed to thrive in Virginia once again.
“If I could have designed the course, I would have designed something pretty similar,” explained Doull.
“It is likely to favour a small-bunch sprint at the end between 30 or 40 guys. If it comes down to a finish like that, I will have a crack at it and, hopefully, I can get something out of it.
“The cobbled climbs suit my riding ability as well. I have gone well in the Under-23 Tour of Flanders and stuff like that before, so I should be quite well suited to Richmond.
“I guess I will be plan A given how I did at the Tour of Britain, but we have got a really strong squad, with Tao, Alex, Scott and Gabz. We have got plenty of options and it's potentially a good circuit for all of us.
“Any one of us could come away with a result, and as a national team, that is the main goal: getting someone on that podium. It doesn't matter if it's me or one of the other lads.”
Great Britain to face Japan in 2016 Davis Cup opener
Great Britain’s attention is currently on their first Davis Cup final since 1978 but they will begin their 2016 campaign against Japan following the official draw in Chile.
Britain square off against Belgium in Ghent on 27-29 November in the 2015 Davis Cup final after a memorable victory over Australia in the semi-finals.
Following that clash, thoughts will turn to next year when GB will host Japan on March 4-6 in the first round of the World Group.
It will be the first encounter between the sides since 1931 and Japan boast world No.6 Kei Nishikori amongst their ranks, although they failed to advance beyond the first round this term.
Serbia or Kazakhstan await the winner in the second round with the potential of a mouth-watering clash between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on the table.
Dixon eyeing Olympic qualifying standard in Berlin
Marathon runner Alyson Dixon admits that some wise words from world-record holder Paula Radcliffe have spurred her on as she prepares for the Berlin Marathon this weekend.
Dixon finished fourth in the recent Great North Run and now heads to Berlin with a genuine belief that she can break the 2 hr 31 min barrier which is the qualifying standard for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio.
The 37-year-old is self-coached but spent some time with Radcliffe in Font Romeu in August as preparation for the Great North Run.
She competed in the Commonwealth Games in 2014 but admits that making it to the Olympics would fulfil a long-term ambition.
“The Olympics has been a big aim for the last 20 years and I think that next year is my best chance of eventually making it,” said Dixon, whose current marathon PB is 2:31.08
“I’ve put my heart and soul into giving myself the very best preparations, all I need now is to keep sensible and then run the race of my life at Berlin.
“I had such a bad start to the year, finishing an embarrassing last in the Edinburgh Cross Country in January. I should never have run it but it’s hard to turn down a GB vest.
“But then I went to Kenya and Paula built me up again. And then, in the run-up to the Great North Run, she’s had a really tough week but was sending me texts saying, ‘You’re in great shape, go for it’.
“When I was doing long runs, Paula was on the bike alongside me and then jumping into track reps to shield me from the wind!
“She went from shouting out times to joining in and dropping 34-second 200s. It shows the amazing person that she is.
“I received a lot of advice from her and she has certainly boosted my confidence.”
© Sportsbeat 2015