By Owen Morgan
Rising Welsh cycling star Ethan Vernon has spoken of his delight at being included in the Great Britain team for next week’s UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire.
Vernon is part of a strong Welsh contingent who will represent Britain in the various age groups and disciplines, including Tour De France winner Geraint Thomas and Team Ineos team-mate Owain Doull.
The final teams to be announced by British Cycling on Wednesday were the men’s elite team and the men’s under-23 team, where Vernon gets his chance.
The 19-year-old British Academy rider, who represented Wales at last year’s Commonwealth Games said: “I’m obviously really pleased to get selected.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in how rare this opportunity is, so I’m really excited to get stuck in and see what I can do.
“My legs are in good condition at the moment, so combining a better position and good legs it should get me a result I’m pleased with.”
Vernon last week took part in the Tour of Britain as part of the Great Britain Cycling Team.
Keith Lambert, senior academy men’s endurance coach, said: “It’s great to be able to give the experience to Ethan Vernon who has stepped up from the junior ranks this year.”
Vernon will compete in the time trial which will take place on 24 September as part of the U23 men’s squad, alongside reigning Under-23 National Time Trial champion Charlie Quarterman.
Meanwhile, last year’s Tour De France hero Thomas will ride with Alex Dowsett in the senior time trial, which takes place on September 25.
The Cardiff born rider will also compete in the senior road race on September 29, where he will be joined by fellow Cardiffian Owain Doull, fresh from the Vuelta a Espana.
Matt Brammeier, British Cycling’s elite men’s road coach, said: “Looking at the time trial, we have selected two very experienced time trial riders this year in G and Alex, both of whom suit the course and as such we can expect to see good performances from them both.
“G will then stick around to compete in the road race on the Sunday, and will no doubt be a valuable asset to the team in the final laps.
“Tao (Geoghegan Hart) and Owain join us from the Vuelta, where they have both impressed as relatively young riders in the professional peloton.”
The men’s elite and under-23 teams were the last to be named after last week’s announcement of the women’s elite team and various other age group squads.
Outstanding young Welsh riders Elynor Backstedt and Eluned King were named in the Junior Women’s Road Race squad, which will ride on September 27, while Backstedt will also compete in the junior women’s time trial on September 23.
The full Great Britain team is:
Elite Men’s Time Trial: Alex Dowsett, Geraint Thomas
Elite Men’s Road Race: Owain Doull, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates
Elite Women’s Time Trial: Alice Barnes, Hayley Simmonds
Elite Women’s Road Race: Lizzy Banks, Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Lizzie Deignan, Nikki Juniper, Anna Henderson
Mixed Relay: John Archibald, Dan Bigham, Harry Tanfield, Lauren Dolan, Anna Henderson, Joss Lowden
Junior Women’s Time Trial: Elynor Backstedt, Amelia Sharpe
Junior Men’s Time Trial: Leo Hayter, Oscar Nilsson – Julien
Junior Women’s Road Race: Elynor Backstedt, Eluned King, Anna Shackley, Amelia Sharpe, Abi Smith
Junior Men’s Road Race: Lewis Askey, Alfie George, Leo Hayter, Max Walker, Sam Watson
Under-23 Men’s Time Trial: Charlie Quarterman, Ethan Vernon
Under-23 Men’s Road Race: Stuart Balfour, Tom Pidcock, Jake Stewart, Matt Walls, Fred Wright.
The World Championships run from September 22 to September 29.