Britain’s Tour de France champions past and present Bradley Wiggins (main pix) and Chris Froome headline a star studded British cycling team for this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which was unveiled on Friday.
The 26 rider team also includes double gold medalist from the 2012 Games in London Laura Trott and sprint great Mark Cavendish, who despite his many achievements has yet to win an Olympic medal and aims to change that at his third Games.
Froome will lead the road race team whilst Wiggins, the time-trial champion from four years ago, is targeting an eighth Olympic medal, this time with the team pursuit on the track.
Kenya-born Froome is hoping he heads to the Games — in which he has spoken of going for the double of the time-trial in which he took bronze behind Wiggins in London and the road race — by securing a third Tour de France title.
“The Olympics are special for any athlete lucky enough to be given the chance to compete at a Games,” the 31-year-old said.
“I have great memories of London and winning bronze in the time trial.
“I will be giving it everything I can in Rio to try and win another medal for Great Britain.”
Cavendish, 31, who is down for competing like Wiggins on the track in the omnium and is a backup for the team pursuit, also has ambitions to finish the Tour de France prior to Rio and attempt to add to his 26 stage wins in the world’s most famous cycling race.
However, the Isle of Man-born rider, who would have an 18 day gap between the climax to the Tour de France and the start of the track programme in Rio, is desperate to win some form of medal in what is likely to be his last realistic tilt to do so.
“Olympic gold is one thing left – I’ve tried it twice and I was in superb form on both days and they just eluded me,” said Cavendish, who finished ninth with Wiggins in Beijing in 2008 in the Madison on the track and then under-performed badly in the road race in London.
“I’ve made no secret that my aim is to win an Olympic medal and I’m so pleased to have been given this opportunity.
“I’m proudly patriotic and I love every time I get to pull on the Great Britain jersey and the Olympics is the biggest thing I can do. I wouldn’t have done it unless I thought I could medal in my two events.” – Agence France-Presse