Dani King: London 2012 track champion to focus on road racing

By David McDaidBBC Olympic Sports reporter
Dani King
Dani King was awarded a MBE for services to cycling after winning gold at the London Olympics

Olympic team pursuit champion Dani King is to switch to road racing in order to help her achieve track success at the Rio Games in 2016.

The 23-year-old will miss the forthcoming indoor season to ride full-time with road team Wiggle Honda.

"The team pursuit distance increase from 3km to 4km requires a bigger endurance base," King told BBC Sport.

"That's been identified as an area I need to build and I believe the road is the perfect place to do that."

King was part of the Great Britain quartet that won team pursuit gold at the London Olympics in 2012.

However, she did not earn selection for February's Track World Championships and will has now removed herself from contention for the European Championships in Guadeloupe later this month.

King will continue to practise in the velodrome, and maintains her "ultimate aim" is to win another track gold at the 2016 Olympics.external-link

"This about making sure I'm in the best condition I can possibly be to defend the team pursuit title in Rio," King said.

Dani King factfile
Her father, Trevor, is a former biathlete who competed in two Winter Olympics.
Spotted by a British cycling talent team at school in Southampton in 2005, aged 15.
Struck down by glandular fever in 2009, leading to worries about her career.
Won Women's team pursuit gold at the 2011 World Championships, and successfully defended the title in 2012 and 2013.
Took gold at the London Olympics in the team pursuit alongside Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell and was made an MBE.

"No one has tried this from the women's endurance squad before, but it was done by Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas before the London Olympics.

"Shane Sutton [British Cycling's technical director] he believes I can do it, so that means a lot."

King, who was runner-up to Laura Trott at the British Championships road race in June, is also keen to gauge her suitability for the road discipline longer term.

"I've shown with very little road training that I could have potential," she said. "Now I'm going to get the chance to see what it's like to be a full-time road cyclist.

"After doing that I'll have a clearer idea about what I want to do long term.

"The best case scenario would be to win the gold in Rio and then decide what to do from there."

King does admit that a year away from track competition could jeopardise her hopes of selection for the GB squad.

"That is a worry," she admitted. "If I'm not performing I won't get back in the squad, but if you don't take these risks you'll never know."

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