GB team announced for Olympic road race - Millar, Froome and Stannard join Cavendish and Wiggins

Millar's inclusion follows scrapping of BOA lifetime ban for dopers earlier this year

by Simon_MacMichael   July 4, 2012  

London 2012 logo union flag.jpg

British Cycling has confirmed that David Millar, Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins and Ian Stannard will be the riders supporting Mark Cavendish as he bids for Olympic gold in the men's road race at London 2012 on Saturday 28 July. Millar was cleared to race in the Olympics earlier this year following the scrapping of the British Olympic Associations life ban for athletes banned for a doping offence. Other than Stannard, who won the British road race championship last month, all of the other team members are currently racing in the Tour de France. Froome, rather than Millar - winner of a silver medal in the world time trial championship in 2010 - will join Wiggins in the individual time trial.

Millar's inclusion in the squad comes 12 years after his only appearance for Great Britain in the Olympics at Sydney in 2000 where he finished a disappointing 16th in the individual time trial. He had been due to compete for Great Britain in the 2004 Games in Athens, but in June that year his career fell apart after his arrest by French police while he was at dinner in Biarritz with British Cycling Performance Director Dave Brailsford, followed by the discovery of two used syringes in his apartment and his subsequent confession.

If Millar's name featuring in the final list of five riders is bound to cause controversy - BMC Racing's Steven Cummings and Team Sky's Ben Swift and Jeremt Hunt are the three from the preliminary squad who miss out, and there are still question marks over Millar's form after an absence enforced by the Scot breaking his collarbone in March  - Chris Froome's nomination as one of the two riders in the time trial alongside Wiggins may also give rise to debate.

Millar, stripped of the world title he had won in 2003 when he received his two-year ban the following year, is the Commonwealth champion, and last year won the final stage of the Giro d'Italia in Milan; Froome himself is one of Britain's top riders in the discipline - he was second to an in-form Tony Martin, soon to be world champion, during the time trial in Salamanca in last year's Vuelta, the team Sky man taking the race leader's jersey that day. The previous year, Froome had been second to Wiggins in the British national time trial championship.

The absence of Ben Swift, another rider returning from injury, also deprives Great Britain of a potential Plan B should the race nget broken up as it heads round those nine circuits of Box Hill, with the Yorkshireman potentially able to get into a break ad contest the final sprint on the Mall; if the race stays together, he was also an obvious leadout choice for Cavendish, although as the world champion demonstrated in Tournai on Monday, no-one is better at using an opponent as an unwilling leadout.

Andy Hunt, Team GB Chef de Mission, commented: “With just 23 days left before the Olympic Games begins, it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome these five road cyclists into Team GB to complete the selections for cycling across all disciplines.

“Team GB proved in 2008 that our country is a world leader in the sport of cycling. The men that have been selected today to compete in the Road Race and Time Trial have a huge amount of potential, and will be hoping to get Team GB off to a flying start with success on day one of the Games.

“In Bradley Wiggins we have a cyclist that already knows all about Olympic success with three gold medals on the track to his name, and in Mark Cavendish we have an athlete that continues to climb the ladder towards the cycling greats as he consistently proved his speed and class over the last two years. To have their presence in the squad is a huge boost and their leadership will be important to the team as a whole in London.

“We have fantastic street circuits in London for the two men’s road events and the massive home crowd that will turn out to see our cyclists across every inch of the route will add a real psychological boost and hopefully push them on to glory.”

British Cycling Performance Director and Team GB Cycling Team Leader Dave Brailsford added: “The final selection for the men’s road race was a tough choice as we had a really strong squad of riders to pick from. We have selected the five riders who we believe are on the best form and will give us the fastest team for the race. All the riders selected have a gruelling few weeks coming up, with Ian [Stannard] due to ride in the Tour of Poland and the rest of the lads riding in the Tour de France, so we’ll be keeping an eye on injury and form but for now, I am confident that we have picked the best team for the race.”

Wiggins, who currently lies second overall in the Tour de France and already has three Olympic golds on the track, said: “I’m happy to be a part of it, we’ve got a good chance to win the road race with Cav and it’s a London Olympics which makes it very special. I’ve also got a chance to go for my fourth gold medal in the time trial.”

Froome, a key member of the Team Sky line-up supporting Wiggins in France, added: “It’s a great feeling to be selected, the Olympics is one event I’ve always wanted to go to. The course looks challenging – the laps around Box Hill are going to be hard and will make the race interesting. We’ll be there with Cav to support him and it should be a really good course for us. It’s huge to compete at home – the British support out here at the Tour de France has been amazing and I can only imagine it'll be even bigger at home. If it’s anything like the test event, it will be a big spectacle for the public to come and watch.”

Ian Stannard commented: “It feels great to have been selected for my first Olympic Games, and it’s even better to know that we’ve got the support of the home crowd behind us. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the race and giving Mark as much support as possible on the day.”

Don't forget that of you want to cheer on Cavendish and his team mates from the roadside later this month, you can join us at the weekend long Surrey Hills Road Race Festival at Denbies Wine Estate, right by the Box Hill circuit.

14 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

So who's actually going to lead him out?

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1730 posts]
4th July 2012 - 9:27

2 Likes

Millar does not deserve it.

posted by 6654henry [56 posts]
4th July 2012 - 9:29

1 Like

Raleigh wrote:
So who's actually going to lead him out?

Stannard. But looking at the Tour so far, I think Cav just needs nursing over Box Hill and he'll do the rest.

Let's hope Millar rides himself into form over the next 3 weeks. He looks off the pace so far.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [563 posts]
4th July 2012 - 9:42

2 Likes

Millar REALLY doesn't deserve it.

posted by Karbon Kev [680 posts]
4th July 2012 - 9:46

2 Likes

Millar REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY deserves it

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1730 posts]
4th July 2012 - 10:04

2 Likes

Not on form he doesn't. Granted he was a fantastic road captain in the Worlds last year but what use will he be if he's blowing off the back of the peleton after 7 laps?

His inclusion suggests to me that GB will again seek to neutralise the race by effectively doing a team time trail at the front to prevent escaped by potential winners. It worked a treat at the Worlds so there's no reason to change plans now.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [563 posts]
4th July 2012 - 10:09

2 Likes

Millar deserves it, totally. Plus he'll be a different rider in a week or so than he is right now. Don't particularly agree with the ban being lifted, but now that it is, why wouldn't you choose him?

posted by andyp [963 posts]
4th July 2012 - 10:14

2 Likes

No problem with the RR team, Millar has served his punishment and shouldn't be excluded because he is British.

It's a good sign that we have so many good riders that there are not enough places for all of them on the team. Cast your mind back 2 olympics and that was not the case.

posted by chinchli [31 posts]
4th July 2012 - 10:20

2 Likes

I have no objection to him being eligible, but his form is going to need to improve dramatically to make him useful. If I heard the TDF highlights correctly, he finished in a group behind Cav's group yesterday, and Cav simply rode up, allowing the racers to fight it out up ahead.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3313 posts]
4th July 2012 - 10:27

2 Likes

Millar was off the back yesterday with other team mates helping Tom Danielsen (who had crashed and suffered a separated shoulder) plus Dan Martin and Christian Vandevelde who had also crashed.

Ryder Hesjedal was the only Garmin rider given the go-ahead to stay up with the leaders.

Millar's tweet afterwards: "It's amazing how easy it is to feel good when you're stuck in the chasing groups. Shit day for us, Girowinner saved the day at the front."

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8248 posts]
4th July 2012 - 10:57

2 Likes

Ah, I may be full of Sh*te then!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3313 posts]
4th July 2012 - 11:44

3 Likes

Always check your "facts".

I think if DM gets through the Tour he will ride himself in to good form for the Olympic RR.

Don't let the 2011 World's cloud your judgement of the Olympic RR. Only 5 man teams so they are unlikely to be able to do what they did last year.

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [391 posts]
4th July 2012 - 13:06

3 Likes

I'd say Millar is in reasonable form ....

posted by MattT53 [129 posts]
13th July 2012 - 15:55

2 Likes

Humble pie for 1

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3313 posts]
13th July 2012 - 16:47

2 Likes