Geraint Thomas and Becky James can inspire medal push, says Wales cycling coach
5:29pm Monday 9th June 2014 in Sport
WALES head coach Darren Tudor believes the presence of world stars Geraint Thomas and Becky James will have a major influential effect on his Glasgow-bound Commonweath Games cycling team.
Thomas, a two-time Olympic champion and Abergavenny's double world champion James are the headline names among a 17-strong group for the Games next month.
The team also includes world team pursuit champion Elinor Barker plus Gwent's World Cup medallists Jon Mould and Sam Harrison, as well as Owain Doull and Team Sky pro-cyclist Luke Rowe.
"We've got a lot of experience in there," Tudor said. "The target is three medals, and while that target is there, with a little bit of luck and clever bike racing there is more to have, hopefully."
Assessing the potential impact of Thomas, who is set arrive in Glasgow straight from the Tour de France, and James, Tudor added: "It's the presence they bring. They just raise the whole level of professionalism around the team, around the youngsters.
"I think it is going to raise everyone's standards. I feel that the success Becky and Geraint have had, their professionalism, their presence, it will lift everyone.
"For the whole of Team Wales, having these people as part of it is such a good thing."
On the track, James and Lewis Oliva will contest the sprint events, with Mould, Harrison and Doull competing in men's endurance.
The women's endurance contingent will comprise Barker, Ciara Horne, Hayley Jones, Amy Hill and Amy Roberts, while Davies will join Thomas, Rowe, Mould, Harrison and Doull in the men's road team.
And the introduction of para-cycling events for the first time sees chances for tandem pairings Rhiannon Henry and double world champion pilot Rachel James - Becky James' sister - plus Matt Ellis and pilot Ieuan Williams.
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