Double Olympic champion Geraint Thomas insists the early signs are there that Britain can claim a historic first-ever cycling men’s road race gold at Rio 2016.
Thomas has proved unstoppable on the boards as part of Britain’s team pursuit quartet at the Olympics, helping them claim gold at Beijing 2008 and then London 2012.
The 28-year-old Welshman is now concentrating on the tarmac though and claimed road race gold amid treacherous conditions at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games this summer.
The road race and time trial courses for the Rio 2016 Games were revealed by cycling’s governing body, the UCI, at the start of the month and appear to favour Britain’s climbers.
For all their success on the track at the Olympics – Britain won seven golds at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012 – they’ve never won the men’s road race title but Thomas is adamant that can soon change.
“As a country, we’re the strongest we’ve ever been,” Thomas told Cyclingnews. “I’m really looking forward to racing the Olympics. They’re a massive global event and I’m really looking forward to it.
“It should be good. I think Britain, with myself Pete [Kennaugh] – depending on if he rides the track or the road – [Ben Swift] Swifty, [Ian] Stannard, and [Luke] Rowe we’ve got a good core of riders for that sort of course.
“At the moment I’m just focussing on the road and hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to get a place in the road race and the time trial. The track is definitely on the back burner for a while.
“I do miss it when I see the boys racing but the way it is these days you’ve got to commit at least half a season, if not a full season and spend a lot of time on the boards at Manchester. The road is where I want to go at the moment.”
© Sportsbeat 2014