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Tokyo Olympics: Great Britain promise to 'win in the right way' with 26-rider squad

Geraint Thomas will ride the men's road race and time trial at the Tokyo Olympics
Geraint Thomas will ride the men's road race and time trial at the Tokyo Olympics (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Great Britain have named their 26-rider cycling team for the Tokyo Olympics as they looks to repeat their haul of medals from recent Games.

The cycling events in Tokyo begin on Saturday July 24 with the men's road race event, followed the next day by the women's road race. The time trials are on Wednesday July 28, while the track racing will be held between August 2-8.

As Cyclingnews first reported earlier this month, Adam and Simon Yates, Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart will ride in the men's road race, with Thomas and Geoghegan Hart riding the time trial as well. London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Deignan will be joined by Anna Shackley in the women's road race, with Shackley also competing in the women's time trial.

Tom Pidcock secured a spot in the men's mountain bike even thanks to scoring some late qualification points in recent rounds of the World Cup series and will fly the flag for Great Britain despite being hit by a vehicle in training and suffering a collarbone fracture. He is already back in training. Evie Richards will make her Olympic debut in the women's mountain bike race.

26 riders from the Great Britain Cycling Team have been selected to represent Team GB, of which 16 will make their debuts, with British Cycling setting themselves the aim of being more competitive across the cycling disciplines at the Tokyo Games.

Great Britain won 12 medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, again dominating on the track. This time they are hoping for at least eight medals, with Laura Kenny and Jason Kenny both preparing to make history by confirming themselves as the most successful female and male track cyclists ever. 

Laura Kenny has already won four gold medals and leads the women's endurance track squad that also includes fellow Olympic champions Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker, plus Neah Evans and Josie Knight. 

Jason Kenny could also surpass Chris Hoy's Team GB record of six Olympic golds in Tokyo after coming out of retirement and he is joined by Ryan Owens and Jack Carlin. Katy Marchant will represent Team GB in the women's sprint and keirin events.

Ed Clancy will be aiming to win his fourth consecutive team pursuit gold medal, with Ethan Hayter, Ethan Vernon, Matt Walls and Ollie Wood in the squad. 

Kye Whyte and Beth Shriever represent Team GB in the BMX Supercross races, with Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks riding the new BMX Freestyle event.

Great Britain has dominated the track events in recent Olympics but the methods and mentality of the team have come under the spotlight after allegations of rider discrimination and former chief team doctor Richard Freeman being found guilty of ordering banned testosterone "knowing or believing" it was for an unnamed rider to improve their performance. He has appealed the verdict.

British Cycling performance director Stephen Park, who replaced Shane Sutton in 2017 after the end of the long reign of Dave Brailsford and the Australian coach, has claimed his riders will win "in the right way" at the Tokyo Olympics in the wake of Freeman verdict. Park argued that British Cycling had moved on from the old regime.

"Personally, I think it is really important to prove we have moved on," said Park. 

"I am wholly committed to us winning in the right way. We have a responsibility to lead the sport, we have a responsibility to do that with integrity. We are going into battle for the British public. We want them to be proud of what we do and about how we do that."

Speaking about the Great Britain selection Park said: "We have six Olympic Champions bolstering our squad, with Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy, Jason Kenny, Laura Kenny, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald all very driven to add more medals to their palmarès.

"At the other end of the spectrum, we pride ourselves on the strength of our pathway, and this is evident in the team we have selected with recent Academy graduates making our Olympic team. Josie Knight, Ethan Vernon and Anna Shackley have seized every opportunity this additional year has given them and it will be testament to the work of our pathway programme to see them on the start line in Tokyo.

"We are renowned for our domination in the track events and, while we have a realistic expectation that the rest of the world will be more competitive than ever this year, I am still extremely excited to see every single member of the track squad in the hunt for a medal in Tokyo."

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