Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Mark Cavendish said to be set for Rio, but Dani King to miss out

Squad won't be officially named till Friday, but leaked line-up claims to show who's on plane to Brazil...

Mark Cavendish has reportedly been selected for August’s Olympic Games in Rio, but it seems there will be no seat on the plane to Brazil for the country’s second highest ranked female road cyclist Dani King, who won gold on the track in London four years ago.

According to Mail Online, Cavendish has been given the green light to ride the Omnium in what will be his third Olympic Games as he seeks the gold medal that eluded him in the Madison at Beijing and road race in London.

But the website reports that a number of riders left out of the squad that is set to be announced by British Cycling on Friday – including Tour de France stage winner, Steve Cummings – are not happy about their omission from the squad, with some considering appealing against the selectors’ decision.

Under Olympic qualification rules for the women’s road race, where world champion Lizzie Armitstead, silver medallist in London, is one of the country’s gold medal hopes, Team GB will have three riders, compared to five in 2012.

The riders who will support Armitstead are said to be her Boels-Dolmans team mate Nikki Harris, and Emma Pooley, former world time trial champion and winner of a silver medal in the same discipline in Beijing, who retired from the sport two years ago but has made herself available for selection.

King, a member of the team pursuit trio who won gold for Team GB in London, has focused on the road since recovering from a career-threatening injury sustained on a training ride in November 2014, is said to be “heartbroken” by the decision.

She told “I want to be very clear, this is not about Emma. I harbour no ill feeling towards her. She is an incredible athlete and a lovely person. And she was very open about coming back late in the cycle and leaving it up to the selectors to decide.

“But how can they select someone who has only ridden a couple of races? The sport has moved on so much in the last couple of years.”

Outlining the performances that she believes gave her a very strong case to be included in the squad – including nine top-10 placings this season, and 11th overall at both the Tour of California and last week's Women’s Tour, won by Armitstead – she added: “In terms of results, I should have been selected, it’s as simple as that. I should be second on the list behind Lizzie.”

With just five riders eligible to be named in the men’s track endurance squad, meanwhile, the inclusion of Cavendish means no place for Andy Tennant, who missed team pursuit gold in London since he did not ride in any of the rounds, or points race world champion, Jon Dibben.

Both helped Great Britain win team pursuit silver at the world championships in London earlier this year, where Cavendish won the Madison with Sir Bradley Wiggins but finished sixth in the Omnium.

Tennant and Dibben are also stronger riders in the team pursuit, meaning that should illness or injury befall any of the quartet who seem set to ride – Wiggins, Owain Doull, Ed Clancy and Stephen Burke – that Team GB could jeopardise a realistic gold medal chance.

Mail Online says that the line-up for the men’s road race, on a course that favours climbers, will feature Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard and Adam Yates – while the latter’s twin brother, Simon, who returns to racing in July after a four-month doping ban, is out.

The website also says that controversy surrounds the men’s team sprint line-up on the track, where Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes – both gold medallists in London – will be joined by Callum Skinner, with “huge surprise” at 20-year-old Ryan Owens being named reserve rather than the much more experienced Matt Crampton.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Add new comment


Sniffer | 8 years ago

Selection will be very dependent on the course.  Rankings are generated across the year on very different courses.  You may have a rider who is highly ranked, but has done particularly well on flatter courses.  As the Rio course is apparently quite hilly I would be taking the riders that go well in that terrain and not necessarily the highest ranked ones.

I wonder if Cav would be doing the road race if it had been a more sprint orientated course rather than go for a track medal.

Climbing was Pooley's thing.  Remember her TT medal was on a hilly course quite unlike 2012s.

Cummings has been outstanding this year and is the master at picking a stage and a time to attack.  Not sure a 1 day race like this will suit him so much.

FatBoyW | 8 years ago

Yep, like I said this morning - Emma P. Understandable at one level as she is such a strong climber  but if, as these 1 day championship races seem to often become, its an elbows out fight  during the laps then struggle to see her supporting Lizzie fully.


As for not taking Steve C - what!


As for Cav - heart and head stuff.  The pressure is on the man to win it now. 


Wish they would expand the programme of events and the squads. I have never understood the IOC logic - a specific facility like a Velodrome cant be used for anything else so could be scheduled for use for 12 days - you could fit in the whole of all the World Championship events and a 6 day!!! 


I will never understand why you have to drip the kilo to bring in BMX or whatever - bonkers!

230548 | 8 years ago
1 like

Im suprised at Danni King being left out, surely she is a better bunch rider than Emma Pooley, who while she is a great time trialist was always unhappy in a bunch, and seeing her in the recent aviva womens tour this seems only to have got worse as in all the tv shots she seemed to at the back of the bunch the whole time. I don't mean this as a critisism, just a fact.  

FatBoyW | 8 years ago
1 like

Gutted for Steve and our chances, to not take a man who can ride away from a charging peloton and hold them off is a bit crazy. He is the ultimate domestique.

as for Pooley it seems a risk she rode at the back the whole of the aviva tour, I hope she quickly learns how to sharpen her elbows or that it was a strategic planned decision

HalfWheeler | 8 years ago

No Steve Cummings? In my humble opinion he's the outstanding British roadman of 2016 so far. Amazing form right now.

kil0ran | 8 years ago

I thought Jon Dibben was injured and already ruled out?

usedtobefaster replied to kil0ran | 8 years ago

kil0ran wrote:

I thought Jon Dibben was injured and already ruled out?

Jon is racing again, he got 7th and 1st U23 in last weekends Beaumont Trophy event

Latest Comments