With just 44 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympics, the British Olympic Association (BOA) has announced today 18 cyclists as officially selected to represent Team GB at the Games.
The cyclists selected today will compete across the Track Cycling, BMX and Mountain Biking disciplines, which will take place at the Olympic Park Velodrome, BMX Track and Hadleigh Farm venues respectively.
Today’s announcement was made at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, the home of British Cycling and the GB Cycling Team.
The cyclists selected to Team GB today are:
Cross Country Mountain Biking:
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Also revealed today by British Cycling is the shortlist of men's and women's road cyclists from which the five male and four female athletes will be selected to Team GB at a later date.
The riders on the shortlist for Olympic selection are:
Men’s Road (five to be selected)
Women’s Road (four to be selected)
Team GB has a fine Olympic pedigree in cycling, having won a total of 49 Olympic medals to date, including 15 gold, making Great Britain one of the most successful countries in Olympic cycling history. At the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Team GB cyclists won an outstanding eight gold medals from a possible 18 to lead the medal table.
Since then, changes made to the Olympic Programme by the International Cycling Federation means it will be more difficult to replicate the unprecedented medal success recorded in Beijing, but British cyclists remain world-leaders and are well placed to deliver success again at London 2012.
The cyclists selected today have won multiple Olympic and World Championship titles, most recently at the 2012 Track World Championships in Melbourne where they secured 13 medals, including six gold.
The track cycling team is led by four-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy, who was one of Team GB’s outstanding performers at the last Olympic Games in Beijing where he won a hat-trick of gold medals. This will be his fourth Olympics.
Hoy is joined in the men’s track cycling team by Jason Kenny, who is vying with Hoy for the only individual sprint place in the team. Nineteen year old Philip Hindes completes the men’s track sprint team selection.
Victoria Pendleton is included for her third Olympic Games in the women’s track cycling team, and the 31-year-old will be looking to add to the gold medal she won in the women’s individual sprint discipline at Beijing 2008. Pendleton is joined in the sprint team by 21-year-old Jessica Varnish.
Also selected to the women’s track squad is 19-year-old Laura Trott. The youngest member of the Team GB cycling squad has already tasted international success by winning the team pursuit and the omnium gold at the 2012 World Championships in Melbourne. The omnium, which consists of six events, will be contested for the first time at the Olympic Games.
Away from the track, four-time World Champion Shanaze Reade will compete in the BMX discipline, and will be looking to rectify the disappointment of missing out on a medal when she crashed in the final at Beijing 2008. The 23-year-old showed her Olympic medal credentials by winning the test event held at the Olympic Park BMX Track in August 2011. She is joined by 23-year-old Liam Phillips, who is selected for the men’s BMX event this summer.
Four-time British Champion Liam Killeen will compete in the cross-country mountain biking discipline, and will be looking to improve on the fifth place he recorded at Beijing in 2008. He is joined by 21-year-old Annie Last, who will be competing at her first Olympic Games.
The addition of the cyclists brings the total number of athletes officially selected to compete for Team GB at London 2012 to 233 across nineteen sport disciplines: archery, athletics – marathon, badminton, boxing, canoe slalom, cycling, diving, fencing, hockey, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, synchronised swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon and weightlifting.
The athletes were formally nominated to the BOA for selection to Team GB by British Cycling, the National Governing Body for cycling in the UK.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said:
“As we move ever closer to lifting the curtain on the London 2012 Olympic Games, I am delighted to announce the 18 athletes selected to Team GB in the sport of cycling.
“The Great Britain cycling team has achieved incredible and consistent success over a long period of time, and across a range of different disciplines. This is testament to the hard work, talent and dedication of all the athletes and coaches, under the outstanding leadership of Performance Director Dave Brailsford.
“Dominating the medal table at Beijing 2008 was a fantastic, unprecedented achievement. While the changes to the Olympic Programme will make that difficult to replicate, I am fully confident that with the support of the home crowd behind them, our cyclists will once again excite the crowd and make the nation proud with their inspirational performances in London this summer.”
Team GB Cycling Team Leader and British Cycling Performance Director Dave Brailsford CBE said:
“We have selected what I believe to be an excellent team going into an Olympic Games and we have a good mix of experienced Olympians alongside young riders who are making their Olympic debut.
“We still have some decisions to make, for example the road teams will be refined in due course and who will ride what event on the track will be determined nearer the time. Overall though, the GB Cycling Team has had a strong season across all the disciplines and we are ready to step up again at the Olympics.”
Sir Chris Hoy said:
“It’s a huge honour to be selected to represent your country at an Olympic Games, and it’s even more special to know I’m definitely part of the team for London 2012. This will be my fourth Olympics but my first home Games, and it’s going to be an amazing experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us.
“The standard in the British cycling team is so high and the selection process is always going to be tough, but there’s a great atmosphere in the team and we just need to keep putting in the hours in training and make sure we’re in the best shape possible for race day. I’m looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd with all the other British athletes in Team GB. I can’t wait!”
Victoria Pendleton said:
“I am very proud and excited to be officially selected as a member of the Team GB track cycling team. London 2012 will be my third Olympic Games and to have the opportunity to compete at a home Olympics is amazing.”
Ed Clancy said:
“I’m really pleased to have made selection for my second Olympic Games, and the fact that it is in London is massive. We have all committed everything to our training and it’s our goal to win medals in front of the home crowd.”
Shanaze Reade said:
“I’m really excited to have been selected for the London 2012 Olympic Games. If the test event and the recent World Championships in Birmingham are anything to go by, the home support will be a massive boost to me. I feel that I am in good form at the moment and I’m really motivated for this. I just can’t wait to race.”
Annie Last said:
“I’m thrilled to have been selected for my first ever Olympic Games and the fact it is a home Games makes it even more special. All the hard work I’ve put in over the last couple of years has really paid off and I cannot wait to get on the start line.”