Wakefield cyclists to ride for England at Commonwealth Games

Ollie Wood. Pic: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
Ollie Wood. Pic: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Wakefield stars Melissa Lowther and Ollie Wood are among the 27 Team England cyclists who will compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.

The English riders will compete in track cycling, para-cycling (track), road cycling and mountain bike disciplines.

The track team includes 14 members of the Great Britain team who competed at last week’s UCI Track Cycling World Championships, in Apeldoorn, where 22-year-old Wood, competing with Scotland’s Mark Stewart, came within one point of a Madison bronze medal.

Also going for glory on the track will be recently crowned world champions Emily Nelson, Charlie Tanfield, Ethan Hayter and Kian Emadi.

Double Commonwealth tandem champions Sophie Thornhill and pilot Helen Scott will be back to defend the titles they won at Glasgow in 2014.

Lowther, 21, has been named in the women’s road race team, which also includes Hayley Simmonds and Abigail Van Twisk.

The 2016 national champion Adam Blythe, Ian Bibby, Harry Tanfield and Thomas Stewart will ride in the men’s race.

Olympian Annie Last who finished fourth for Team England in Glasgow, under-23 world champion Evie Richards and British champion Frazer Clacherty will contest the mountain bike racing.

Team Leader Keith Reynolds said: “Our 27-strong team of riders will represent Team England across all the cycling disciplines at these Commonwealth Games.

“There is a lot of experience within the squad, with 14 riders having an Olympic, Paralympic or world championship medal to their name. Equally, there are riders for whom this event will play an important role as part of their development, and it’s great we can offer this to younger riders on the World Class Performance Programme as well as to non-programme riders.

“We’re happy with the team we’ve selected and there are some exciting prospects across the board, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the team gets on at the Games.”

Team England Chef de Mission Sarah Winckless said: “This is a really busy time of year for our cycling teams with the spring classics on the road, the world cup season starting for the mountain bikers and the world championships on the track so I’m delighted we are taking such a strong team to the Commonwealth Games.

“England has a long history in cycling at the Commonwealth Games, having won over 100 medals. I’m hopeful this team will be able to add to that tally in just a few weeks’ time.”