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Emma Finucane Looks For Olympic Marker In Netherlands With GB


By Hannah Blackwell

Welsh Olympic hopeful Emma Finucane will be aiming to put down an early marker ahead of the Paris Games at the European Track Championships in the Netherlands next week.

The 21-year-old world champion from Carmarthen sprung a surprise by winning gold at last year’s world championships in Glasgow and leads a strong Great Britain squad which also includes Olympic bronze medallist Jack Carlin.

British Cycling will crank up preparations for the Olympics by sending a strong team to next week’s Championships in Apeldoorn with sprinter Finucane aiming to make another big statement.

Finucane, who ended a 10-year wait for a British women’s sprint world champion, will be joined by Sophie Capewell, Katy Marchant and fellow Welsh rising star Lowri Thomas.

There was no place in the women’s endurance squad for two-time Olympic champion Katie Archibald.

Britain has been the dominant force in track cycling at every Olympics since Beijing in 2008 and while the European championships is not a priority this year, it will serve as a yardstick to the form of the main track powerhouses.

A 23-strong British team heads to Apeldoorn, including eight current champions and 13 medallists from the world championships at which Britain topped the table.

“The track squad enters 2024 with strong momentum from the previous season which saw nine world and 12 European medals won, and I’m excited to see what a good block of winter training produces out in Apeldoorn,” head coach Jon Norfolk said.

“The women’s sprint squad are going from strength to strength, with a world record and numerous medals under their belts, both individually and as a squad.”

After crashing in the team pursuit at the worlds, Britian’s endurance squad will be seeking to earn crucial Olympic qualification points in Apeldoorn.

The squad includes elimination and scratch world champions, Ethan Vernon and Will Tidball, world silver medallist Dan Bigham, Mark Stewart, Ollie Wood, Charlie Tanfield and Ethan Hayter.

Archibald is focussing on the Nations Cup but Wales’ Elinor Barker, Josie Knight and Anna Morris, who won team pursuit gold with her in Glasgow, along with Neah Evans, Wales’ Megan Barker and Jess Roberts make up a strong British line-up in the endurance events.

Team pursuit world champion, Megan Barker, added: “Since winning the team pursuit world title in August we’ve had a really solid training block through the winter to get ready for the new track season, which starts with these championships.

“I can’t quite believe we’re going into the Olympic year wearing the rainbow bands and I can’t wait to see what we are capable of as a team in 2024.”

The European Championships will be held from Jan. 10 to Jan. 14.


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