A NUMBER of Team GB’s top medal hopefuls put the finishing touches on their Olympic preparation in Newport, it has been confirmed.

For the fifth successive games, GB’s cycling team called the city home in the lead up to the games – setting up shop at the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales.

In recent years, cycling has been one of Great Britain’s sporting success stories, and, though expectations are a little lower this time around, there is still hope that a medal haul could be brought home.

Over the last few weeks, the 14 rider strong team has been practicing at Newport’s velodrome, in a bid to be as prepared as possible during the games themselves.

Unlike previous Olympic training camps, there were no spectator slots in Newport this time around – believed to be as a result of the ongoing pandemic restrictions, which remain in place.

Though the Olympics officially kicked off on Friday, and the cycling team has long departed for Tokyo, it won’t be Newport’s last involvement in the summer of sport.

In just a few weeks, the Team GB Paralympic team will also be using Newport as a training base ahead of the games.

What has been said about the training camp?

Team GB cyclist Elinor Barker said: “It’s been brilliant being back training in Newport, it’s where I first started track cycling so it feels really fitting to be back here finalising preparations for Tokyo.

“We had our holding camp here before Rio as well, and it worked really well for us, and I know the team have used it in previous Olympic cycles too and enjoyed success after.

“Everyone working at the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome have been helpful and supportive, which has meant we have had some quality sessions in the final two weeks before we leave for Tokyo.”

Read more Olympic news

Steve Ward, chief executive at Newport Live said “It has been fantastic to finally be able to welcome the Great Britain Cycling Team back to the Geraint Thomas Velodrome after a challenging year that has seen the postponement of the Olympic Games.

“We are so proud to have been able to support Team GB with their final training preparations prior to the games. This continues our important work to support elite and professional sports people, demonstrated during our forced closure due the pandemic, when we worked hard to allow professional cyclists, swimmers and other athletes to continue their training.

“This work will continue as we also look forward with great excitement to welcoming Great Britain Cycling Team’s para-cycling squad who also join us later in the year ahead of the Paralympics at the end of August.

“Unfortunately, unlike in previous years, it’s disappointing to not be able to welcome customers to watch the teams train but the safety of the athletes and our customers during the current climate is our priority. I am confident that they will inspire us once again but this time only from Tokyo rather than being able to cheer them on in Newport as a dress rehearsal.

“We wish all of the Team GB athletes every success at the games and hope that they inspire the next generation of athletes to take up this fantastic sport, they have certainly been flying once again on our velodrome track here in Newport”.