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Tokyo Olympics: Great Britain for cycling events

During the past three Olympic Games, Great Britain have been the most successful country across the cycling disciplines, taking 12 medals at the 2016 and 2012 games, including six golds in Rio and eight in London. Back in Beijing in 2008, the team took 14 medals, including eight golds.

The Great Britain cycling squad will be looking to replicate those successes once again in Tokyo, with plenty of medals up for grabs across the road, track, BMX, and MTB disciplines.

Meet the athletes who are representing Great Britain in the cycling events in the galleries below. Check here for full start lists on the road, track and mountain bike.

GB for road race and time trial

Elizabeth Deignan has won almost everything there is to win on the road, including the Tour of Flanders, Strade Bianche, World Championships, La Course, and the Women’s Tour. One prize that has so far eluded her is Olympic gold, though. She took silver behind Marianne Vos on home ground in 2012 and was fifth in 2016. She’s one of a two-woman team this time though, down from three last time out.

Anna Shackley, 20, is a neo-pro on the road this year, having signed up with the powerhouse SD Worx squad. She was a surprise announcement for the team and will also take part in the time trial. A strong climber, she took on the Ardennes earlier this year and will be working for Deignan in Tokyo.

Elite women's Olympic road race podium

Deignan won the silver medal back in 2012 (Image credit: RusVelo)

Geraint Thomas heads to Tokyo straight from a disappointing Tour de France where his overall hopes were ruined by a crash during the first few days. He’ll be part of a four-man group who are all capable of leading and, at 35, it will likely be his last chance to go for gold.

Tao Geoghegan Hart is Thomas’ Ineos teammate and also endured a tough time in France. The 2020 Giro d’Italia winner is well suited to the tough course around Mount Fuji, but hasn’t been at his best so far in 2021. He’ll race the time trial along with Thomas.

Simon Yates already has a Grand Tour podium under his belt this year, having finished third at the Giro. He’s another climber and, like Geoghegan Hart, will be making his Olympic debut. He pulled out of the Tour on stage 13 following a crash, so has had more time to prepare for the road race than most riders who raced in France.

Adam Yates took part in the race race in Rio, finishing 15th, four places behind Thomas, who was Great Britain’s best finisher. He moved to Ineos this season and hasn’t had a race in his legs since April as he focusses on Tokyo. Yates finished second at the UAE Tour and headed up a team one-two-three at the Volta a Catalunya, though we don’t have any recent updates on his form.

Great Britain for mountain bike XCO

Tom Pidcock

Tom Pidcock can do everything (Image credit: Michal Červený)

Tom Pidcock, 21, has taken the step-up to the WorldTour on the road in his stride and is one of the most exciting young talents in cycling, winning the Brabantse Pijl and taking second at Amstel Gold Race back in April. He has switched focus to MTB since, and won the Nove Mesto World Cup XCO round in May, though a broken collarbone briefly set back his preparation last month.

Evie Richards is another Olympics debutant, and another sole entry in the cross-country race for Great Britain. Last year she won the short-track races at Nove Mesto while so far this year her top result has been third at Les Gets at the start of July. Lying fourth in the world rankings at the moment, she looks a real medal contender in Tokyo.

Great Britain for track cycling

Katie Archibald (Team Pursuit, Madison) is one of two remaining members of the gold medal-winning Team Pursuit squad from Rio. She has won European and Commonwealth Individual Pursuit titles since, and won the Team Pursuit title with this squad at the European Championships in 2019.

Elinor Barker (Team Pursuit) is the other member of the team from Rio, and is a multiple-time world champion in the Points Race and Team Pursuit. The 26-year-old makes up one-quarter of the team which should be among the favourites for gold in Tokyo.

Neah Evans (Team Pursuit) has three European Team Pursuit golds on her palmarès, and the 30-year-old Scot will be looking to add Olympic gold this summer at her debut at the Games. She only became a full-time athlete in 2017, having worked as a vet before then.

Josie Knight (Team Pursuit) switched from Ireland to Great Britain in 2018, saying she felt British and describing the development set-up as “grim”. She won the Individual Pursuit at the British Championships last year and will be making her Olympic debut. 

Katy Marchant (Ind. Sprint, Keirin), 28, took bronze in the Sprint at the 2016 Games in Rio and will be looking to go one – or two – better this year as Great Britain’s sole representative in the women’s event.

Laura Kenny (Omnium, Madison) is Great Britain’s most successful female Olympian with four golds to her name across 2012 and 2016. She won both the Team Pursuit and Omnium in London and Rio, and will be looking to triple up in the Omnium in Tokyo. She married fellow British track cyclist Jason Kenny in 2016.

Great Britain track cycling

Laura and Jason Kenny are the ‘golden couple’ of British Cycling  (Image credit: Getty Images)

Ed Clancy (Team Pursuit), 36, is the oldest member of the Great Britain squad. He has three Olympic golds to his name from 2008, 2012 and 2016 – all in the Team Pursuit. This squad smashed Team Pursuit world records in Tokyo and will look to repeat their dominance here.

Ethan Hayter (Team Pursuit, Madison) is another member of Ineos in the Great Britain team, having joined the squad last year. On the road he has impressed with three victories so far in 2021. He has racked up silvers and bronzes in the Team Pursuit at world and commonwealth levels, also taking a rainbow jersey in the discipline in 2018.

Ethan Vernon (Team Pursuit), 20, is the youngest of the Track Pursuit team. Last year he took silver in the 1km time trial at the European Track Championships, also taking silver in the Team Pursuit at the British National Championships.

Oliver Wood (Team Pursuit) has raced on the road at Continental level since 2017 while also maintaining a track career alongside that. He has two World Cup golds in the Team Pursuit over the years, and was part of Great Britain’s bronze medal effort at the European Championships in 2019.

Jack Carlin (Team Sprint, Ind. Sprint, Keirin) is a four-time silver medallist in the Team Sprint at European and World level. He’ll partner fellow Scot Jason Kenny in that discipline in Tokyo, as well as taking on the Individual Sprint.

Jason Kenny (Team Sprint, Ind. Sprint, Keirin) holds the record for most golds among British athletes. The 33-year-old is level with Chris Hoy on six and will be looking to take the record for himself in what could be his last Games. He has three Team Sprint golds, two in the Individual Sprint, and one in the Keirin, and is still a top contender, 13 years after his first gold.

Ryan Owens (Team Sprint) is the final member of the Team Sprint squad. He and his teammates will be facing off against tough opponents in the form of the Netherlands, Australia and France as they look to upgrade from their recent silver medals to gold in Tokyo.

Matthews Walls (Omnium, Madison), 23, turned pro on the road with Bora-Hansgrohe this year. He’s the reigning European champion in the Omnium and took bronze in the event at last year’s Worlds. The 23-year-old is a graduate of Trinity Racing along with Tom Pidcock.

BMX

  • Beth Shriever: Worlds junior gold, 2019
  • Kye Whyte: European silver, 2018

BMX freestyle

  • Charlotte Worthington: European gold, 2019
  • Declan Brooks: European bronze, 2019 

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