Commonwealth Games 2018: 'Wales has plenty of cycling medal chances'

Elinor Barker and Becky James
Elinor Barker and Becky James won three of Team GB's 12 cycling medals at Rio 2016

Welsh Cycling performance team manager Matt Cosgrove hopes Wales' top women cyclists will compete at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Wales are likely to be without men's Olympic gold medallists Geraint Thomas and Owain Doull as well as Luke Rowe.

"It's disappointing that the boys probably won't be there, but there's lots of other medal chances." he said.

Cosgrove hopes Olympic champion Elinor Barker and double silver medallist Becky James will be available.

He added: "When the big names can't be there it's an opportunity for other people to step up and show themselves, some of them were only young last time.

"There's some good depth in the squad and hopefully we will pick up some medals on the track."

"We've got Elinor Barker who could potentially ride four events on the track and Becky James could ride three and there's a host of other riders that have won medals at a world level."

Barker, a team pursuit gold medallist at Rio 2016, was 19 when she won silver and bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Manon Lloyd
Manon Lloyd won two gold medals at opening round of the 2016 UCI World Cup in Glasgow

James, who won two silver medals at this year's Olympic Games, missed Glasgow because of injury having won silver and bronze as an 18-year-old at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Cosgrove said Emily Nelson and Manon Lloyd as well as Jon Mould, Sam Harrison and Lewis Oliver would be the other riders to figure in Wales' cycling team.

Thomas will be unable to defend his Commonwealth Games road race title in 2018 because of a clash with his Team Sky schedule.

The 2018 Games on the Gold Coast in Australia will take place in April and likely to coincide with several Team Sky races such as Paris-Roubaix.

Fellow Welsh riders Luke Rowe and Owain Doull will also be missing because of their Team Sky commitments.

"We always knew the Gold Coast was going to be in Classics season, so with those guys being in Team Sky it's brilliant," Cosgrove added,

"Getting them to do the best races in the world on a regular basis, it's great for them.

"The road race is always a bit of a lottery anyway. You need a bit of luck you can always have punctures but also the right combination of rider in the break.

"At the end of the day to ride at the highest level, you're on a World Tour team, you get paid a salary to ride for them."

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