With five spots for the road race team, the Great Britain selectors face a number of tough choices over next few months as they finalise their roster for the men’s road race and time trial ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio.
Great Britain has qualified one spot for the time trial, with that rider obliged to compete in the road race, and Rob Ellingworth, who will help pick the final five riders, already has a short list. Over the coming months he will narrow down his selection with a range of factors including form, the tough race route and how athletes finish the Tour de France, all to be considered.
“The terrain will self-select some riders to some extent,” Ellingworth told Cyclingnews. “There’s over 4000 metres of the climbing in the road race and the time trial is significantly hilly. That in itself leans towards certain people.”
Chris Froome, Alex Dowsett, Steve Cummings and Geraint Thomas have all put themselves forward for the single time trial spot, and all four could be relied upon in the road race, although cast in different roles. Luke Rowe, Simon and Adam Yates, Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh are on in the reckoning for road race places, and Ellingworth will monitor their progress over the first part of the season.
“In terms of the list we always look at predominately WorldTour riders and any one of those riders is eligible and capable. It’s been quite clear that people who have put themselves forward are like the Yates brothers, Thomas, Froome, Swift, a good group of people who are all capable of performing on that that course," Ellingworth explained.
“There are perhaps two sides to it. There are the guys who are looking to get a result and then there are the guys who are there to support. That means I wouldn’t rule out some of the guys who do the work in races like the Tour de France, like Rowe, Dowsett, Cummings, and Stannard.”