Great Britain women’s Olympic road team announced
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Great Britain women’s Olympic road team announced

by Ben Atkins at 8:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
 
Nicole Cooke to defend her Beijing title; Sharon Laws misses out on second games

lizzie armitsteadThe British Olympic Association (BOA) has announced the names of the four women that will make up the Great Britain women’s road race team in London 2012, days before the national championships. As expected current British champion Lizzie Armitstead (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) (pictured) makes the team, as does her teammate, British number one Emma Pooley, but the surprise omission is their teammate, and super-domestique Sharon Laws. The 37-year-old former mountainbiker was part of the three woman line up that delivered Nicole Cooke (Faren-Honda) to the gold medal in Beijing, and is currently ranked as the British number four.

While it was rumoured that her form since taking the gold medal four years ago might mean that Cooke might not be given the opportunity to defend her title, the Welshwoman makes the list of four.

“I am honoured to be representing Team GB at the 2012 Olympic Games and doing everything I can to deliver a gold medal for our team,” said the defending champion. “We have a set of riders with real potential and I am looking forward to playing my part in delivering that gold.”

The final place has been given to another AA Drink-Leontien.nl rider, in the form of 22-year-old Lucy Martin.

“I’m really excited to have been selected for my first Olympic Games, it’s a massive honour and I am so proud to be part of Team GB at a home Games!” she enthused. “I’m prepared to give everything I’ve got and just cannot wait to race now in front of a home crowd around the streets of London.”

In addition to Laws, the other rider from last week’s published long-list is Specialized-lululemon’s Katie Colclough.

“Narrowing down the women’s road team from six riders to four wasn’t an easy decision for the selectors to make, but we believe that the four riders we have selected will give us the best opportunity of winning the race,” said British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford.

In addition to Cooke’s gold in the Beijing road race, Pooley also took the silver medal in the time trial four years ago. The 29-year-old - who was born in London, although she grew up in Norfolk - is obviously looking forward to trying to go one better this time.

“I’m really pleased to be selected for the London 2012 Olympic Games, it’s a great honour,” she said. “I’m looking forward to concentrating on my training now to ensure that I am in the best shape possible for the 29th July and 1st August.”

Cooke’s gold in Beijing was the first of an incredible haul of eight in all for Great Britain; with Pooley’s silver one of four, in addition to two bronzes. With the road races coming up early in the Games once more, Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt hopes that a medal this time could be the first of many once more.

“We are delighted to welcome four highly talented women’s road cyclists to Team GB for the London 2012 Olympic Games,” he said. “Nicole Cooke’s inspirational victory on that rainy day in Beijing at the last Olympics was one of the outstanding moments of the Games and served as an important catalyst to kick-start Team GB’s record breaking medal haul. With the support of many thousands of Team GB fans lining the route on July 29th, I am sure this group of riders will be aiming to deliver another memorable performance.”

The men’s road team, which is expected to be built around World champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) will be announced at a later date.

Team GB for the Olympic Games road race (July 29th)
Elizabeth Armitstead (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) *
Nicole Cooke (Faren-Honda)
Lucy Martin (AA Drink-Leontien.nl)
Emma Pooley (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) *

* Armitstead and Pooley will also ride the time trial on August 1st.

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