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Garmin-Barracuda rider's inclusion follows end of British Olympic Association's lifetime ban...

David Millar, no longer subject to a lifetime ban from representing Great Britain in the Olympics, is one of eight men named today by British Cycling as being candidates for the five places in the men’s road racing team at London 2012. The governing body has also named five women of whom four will figure in the women’s road events, as well as final squads for the track, mountain bike and BMX disciplines.

No date has yet been confirmed for when the final road teams will be announced, and with Millar having only recently returned to racing after breaking his collarbone in a crash in Belgium earlier in the season, it is likely that the Scot will have to prove his fitness in the opening week or so of the Tour de France.

The two certainties to start the men's road race are of course Mark Cavendish, who is targeting gold, and Bradley Wiggins, who has his sights set on the individual time trial; riders in that event must come from those competing in the road race.

The inclusion of Millar, banned for two years in 2004 for using EPO, but now eligible for selection after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled the British Olympic Association's lifetime ban for athletes convicted of a doping offence invalid, is the most attention grabbing aspect of today's announcement.

Otherwise, given the men's and women's road teams have not yet been finalised, there are no surprises, with the men's and women's track squads having taken shape over the past couple of years; of the team that dominated the world championships in Melbourne in April, the one big change is the absence of Ben Swift, who took a gold and two silvers there, but all in events that are no longer part of the Olympic programme. 

Swift had already withdrawn from the track squad and stated his intention to help Team Sky colleague Cavendish realise his ambition or winning gold, although as a sprinter who is also able to tackle hills, he could also provide a useful back-up option should the race be split apart on those nine ascents of Box Hill, provided he makes the final selection.

With Cavendish and WIggins automatic choices, likewise a fully fit Millar who would perform the role of road captain he played in Copenhagen last September - and who moreover is the strongest candidate for the second slot in the time trial, having won silver in the world championships in 2010 and being reigning Commonwealth champion - there are five riders vying for those final two spots, however.

Meanwhile, on the women's road team, just one of the five riders named will miss out on competing at the Games, with the biggest headache those making the final selection face possibly being how to accommodate Lizzie Armitstead, the probable designated rider, and defending champion Nicole Cooke, particularly given the well publicised spat that has simmered between the two over the past couple of years.

On the track, Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton are among the defending Olympic champions named in the squad and both will be looking to end their final Olympics by adding to the gold medals they have previously won. Hoy, winner of three golds at Beijing is likelty to defend his titles in the team sprint and Keirin, with Jason Kenny the probable choice for the individual sprint, with new rules permitting only one rider per individual event for each competig nation.

Hoy, four times an Olympic champion, 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!”

Team GB Performance Director Dave Brailsford added: “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.”

The squads named this afternoon are:

Men’s Road (five to be selected)

Mark Cavendish (age: 27 born: Isle of Man)
Steve Cummings (age: 31 born: The Wirral)
Chris Froome (age: 27 born: Nairobi)
Jeremy Hunt (age: 38 born: Canada)
David Millar (age: 35 born: Malta)
Ian Stannard (age: 25 born: Chelmsford)
Ben Swift (age: 24 born: Rotherham)
Bradley Wiggins (age: 32 born: Ghent)

Women’s Road (four to be selected)

Lizzie Armitstead (age:23 born: Otley)
Nicole Cooke (age: 29 born: Wick)
Katie Colclough (age: 22 born: Grantham)
Sharon Laws (age 37 born: Kenya)
Lucy Martin (age: 22 born: Merseyside)
Emma Pooley (age 29 born: Wandsworth)

Track (Sprint)

Philip Hindes (19: born: Krefeld, Germany)
Chris Hoy (age: 36 born: Edinburgh)
Jason Kenny (age: 24 born: Bolton)
Victoria Pendleton (age: 31 born: Hitchin)
Jessica Varnish (age: 21 born: Birmingham)

Track (Endurance)

Steven Burke (age: 24 born: Burnley)
Edward Clancy (age: 27 born: Barnsley)
Wendy Houvenaghel (age: 37 born: Magherafelt)
Peter Kennaugh (age: 22 born: Isle of Man)
Danielle King (age: 21 born: Southampton)
Joanna Rowsell (age: 23 born: Carshalton)
Andrew Tennant (age: 25 born: Wolverhampton)
Geraint Thomas (age: 26 born: Cardiff)
Laura Trott (age: 19 born: Harlow)

BMX

Liam Phillips (age: 23 born: Taunton)
Shanaze Reade (age: 23 born: Crewe)

Cross Country Mountain Biking

Liam Killeen (age: 30 born: London)
Annie Last (age: 21 born: Nottingham)

Team GB Performance Director Dave Brailsford 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.”

Talking about his selection for the Olympic Track Endurace squad Geraint Thomas told road.cc:

"It was nice to officially 'get the nod' for Team GB' today!! It's not something I've taken for granted but also not something I've been thinking about either. We (the team pursuit squad) have simply been concentrating on our plan set out since November.
It's very exciting now, as we enter our 'final phase' of preparation. Theres been a lot of talk about the London Games over the last few years. I just can't wait to get racing now!"

While Joanna Rowsell, also selected for the Olympic track endurance squad said:

“I am over the moon to be officially named as part of Team GB for the Olympic Games. This will be my first Olympics and I have been working towards this event for the last 7 years. It makes it even more special that it will be held so close to home – this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Following on from the main announcement of the Olympic track, BMX and MTB teams and the shortlist for the road team later in the day British Cycling announced its four substitute riders for track and BMX (two for each discipline) should sickness or injury befall any of the original selection. They are:

Track
Ross Edgar (age: 29 born: Newmarket)
Becky James (age: 20 born: Abergavenny)

BMX
Kyle Evans (age: 18 born: Wigan)
Abbie Taylor (age 18: born: Chesterfield)

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

16 comments

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spindoctore [53 posts] 4 years ago
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3 dead certs for the road race then, plus Cummings and Stanard?

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notfastenough [3685 posts] 4 years ago
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Don't know that Millar's a cert, although I wouldn't bet against it. Cummings and Stannard would appear reasonable choices.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
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Other point with Millar - now added to story - of course is that 2nd slot in the ITT. That, plus Cav's previous statements that Millar is for him the first name on the team sheet, as it were, makes him a cert if fit I reckon.

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BikeJon [145 posts] 4 years ago
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Cav, Wiggo, Millar, Froome and Stannard I reckon. The others are very high quality though so who knows?!

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notfastenough [3685 posts] 4 years ago
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Good point Si.

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 4 years ago
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Raleigh [1665 posts] 4 years ago
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If you do the TT, do you have to do the RR?

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 4 years ago
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If you do the TT, do you have to do the RR?

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step-hent [722 posts] 4 years ago
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Raleigh wrote:

If you do the TT, do you have to do the RR?

yup - TT riders have to be in the RR squad, so you get 5 road (i.e. not track) riders, 2 of whom do the TT as well.

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andyspaceman [244 posts] 4 years ago
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Cav, Wiggins and Millar. Then I'd say Swift for last lead-out man, and if he's fully fit then Froome for his horsepower. Not that any of the other 3 are lacking in that department, but on his day Froome probably just about gets it for my money.

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maxx87 [5 posts] 4 years ago
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Froome or Millar for the TT?

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maxx87 [5 posts] 4 years ago
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Froome or Millar for the TT?

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maxx87 [5 posts] 4 years ago
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Froome or Millar for the TT?

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 4 years ago
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I would feel bad about leaving either out, but I expect that Millar will TT

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fred22 [158 posts] 4 years ago
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David Millar in means someone else must stay out, I hadn't thought about this though I have remained opposed to Millars inclusion.
Alex Dowsett (never doped, never given a lifetime ban) seems to think it could be him who's had to forego a place on the team and so miss out on his Olympic chance...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/18431773

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OldRidgeback [2620 posts] 4 years ago
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Let's hope we see some BMX medals then!