British Cycling CEO Peter King has high expectations of the Great Britain cycling team at next year's Beijing Olympic Games, declaring the national team as "the most professional in cycling". The governing body's head-honcho spoke out about the squad's form, following a massive seven gold medal hall at the world track championships, in a candid interview with the BBC in which he slammed 'less exciting' sports.
"We were number one in 2005 and will be again this year," said King. "We are the most professional team in cycling and we are the most professional Olympic sport in Britain."
In addition to the strong showing on the track in Majorca, where the GB squad brought home an impressive 11 medals, British riders have also tasted success on the road, with 20 year-old Mark Cavendish beating his super-experienced rivals to win the Belgian semi-classic Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen. Additionally, Great Britain's Nicole Cooke has dominated the women's peloton in the early stages of this season, with the World Cup leader having taken five victories including the Tour of Flanders.
"In terms of the Olympics most of [the GB teams in] the other sports just aren't winning things, particularly athletics and swimming," added King. "Okay, rowing and sailing are doing well, but they are hardly the most accessible or exciting of sports are they? Cycling has always been a sport for everybody, perhaps more now than ever before."
Speaking at the Mountain Bike World Championships, which will be held at Fort William from September 3-9, media launch, King also declared his hopes for more cycling disciplines to get an Olympic call up.
"It's a shame the downhillers aren't in the Olympics. But these things take time. We will just have to convince the IOC that the downhill is more exciting than sports like rowing," King said cheekily.