Millar named in GB squad

  • Last Updated: July 5 2012, 17:17 BST

David Millar has been named in Great Britain's road cycling team for the Olympics - and is already planning on how to help Mark Cavendish win gold.

Miller: Named in the British squad

The 35-year-old Scot served a two-year doping ban from 2004 to 2006 after admitting using blood-boosting agent EPO and had written off hopes of competing in the Olympics.

Surprised when the British Olympic Association's lifetime ban for doping offenders was first challenged and then quashed, Millar then faced a quandary over whether he should - or even wanted to - be selected for London 2012.

Now - after being named alongside Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Ian Stannard - he faces another conundrum: how to help secure gold in the 250-kilometre race which he will be challenging to control.

"The scale of it is daunting," said Millar, who was road captain when Cavendish won World Championships gold in Denmark last September. "It's not like Copenhagen where we had a team of nine and it was a flat course and we could rely on Cav's undoubted genius to pull through in the finale.

"This one's going to be tactical and incredibly physical. I think it's going to be the hardest thing we'll ever do as a team."

Success revolves around Cavendish, with Millar adding: "Mark's our plan A, plan B, plan C."

Cavendish has long spoken of his wish for the team to include Millar, whose experience in a race which takes place without radios is vital.

"He never hid his emotions and his beliefs," added Millar, who took part in the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

"He believed that I deserved to go and that went beyond his need for me.

"I owe it to him to pay that back in one way or another.

"I made the right decision to put myself up and I'm very proud that the team has seen that I won't be a hindrance and that I can be a positive influence.

"I want to help and I want to help Mark win the gold medal."

Defending champion Nicole Cooke and Lizzie Armitstead were previously included in Great Britain's confirmed women's road team.

Cooke and Armitstead are joined in the four-rider team for the 140-kilometres July 29 road race, which finishes on The Mall, by Emma Pooley and Lucy Martin.

On the track, Great Britain's charge will be led by Sir Chris Hoy, who won three of the cycling team's eight golds in Beijing.

Hoy's first Olympic title came in Athens in 2004, but his Beijing bounty saw him become a household name and London will be his fourth Games.

There are selection decisions still to come, particularly whether Hoy gets the nod in the sprint ahead of Jason Kenny, the Beijing silver medallist.

British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford's rationale for leaving Hoy and Kenny to wait is based around form and Britain have up until 48 hours before the event begins on August 4 to declare their selection.

Changes to the Olympic programme and the limitation of one entrant per event mean it is highly unlikely Britain will emulate their success in Beijing, but there is medal potential across the track as proved by five gold from 10 Games events at April's World Championships in Melbourne.

Hoy and Kenny are joined in the sprint squad by 19-year-old German-born Philip Hindes, with Olympic champions Ed Clancy and Geraint Thomas in team pursuit squad alongside Steven Burke, Peter Kennaugh and Andy Tennant.

Clancy is poised to ride the omnium, with Laura Trott in the corresponding women's event as well as the team pursuit, where she is joined by Joanna Rowsell, King and Wendy Houvenaghel.

Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish are in the women's sprint squad.

Three-time world champion Shanaze Reade will ride in the BMX, with Liam Phillips selected despite suffering a fractured collar bone at the recent World Championships in Birmingham.

The mountain bike places have gone to Liam Killeen, who has recorded top-10 finishes at the last two Games, and Annie Last.

TRACK

Sprint: Philip Hindes, Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Victoria Pendleton, Jessica Varnish.

Endurance: Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh, Andy Tennant, Geraint Thomas, Wendy Houvenaghel, Dani King, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell.

ROAD

Men: David Millar, Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Ian Stannard.

Women: Nicole Cooke, Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Pooley, Lucy Martin.

BMX

Liam Phillips, Shanaze Reade

MOUNTAIN BIKE

Liam Killeen, Annie Last