Owain Doull: Olympic track champion targets 'unique' National road race
Olympic track champion Owain Doull says the National road race is unlike any other race in the world.
Doull lines up as part of the Team Sky squad for the National Road Championships in Northumberland on Sunday.
The 25-year-old will be hoping to follow Team Sky's Geraint Thomas' success after he won the time trial at the championships on Thursday.
"It is such a unique race and also so special to ride in the UK," said Doull.
"It is unlike any other race in the world in the manner in which it is competed.
"It is not stupidly long, 180km, compared to some big races in Europe, which are 260km.
"It is full gas from the start, so it's about being at the front of the race and being proactive.
"It is one of the hardest days out of the year but also enjoyable."
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Fellow Welshman Thomas is a former British road race champion having won in 2010 and Doull is keen to emulate him.
"We go out to win with someone at Team Sky, but unlike other races, we don't go out with a set game plan with everyone having to work for one designated rider," said Doull.
"You don't do anything to hinder your team-mates but you are also racing against them.
"I will be going out for my own chances but the main thing is someone from Sky wins."
Everything geared towards the Vuelta
Doull is hoping the road race can launch his bid to be selected for his maiden Grand Tour, which is likely to be the Vuelta a España (25 August-16 September).
"I was happy with how the Classics went which was my first big goal for the year," said Doull.
"My focus is working towards the Vuelta selection. I got a bit ill during the recent Tour of Switzerland which did not go exactly to plan.
"To ride a Grand Tour is a big thing. With other teams it might be easier to come by but with Sky roster it is such a highly competitive team.
"Making the team is an achievement in itself so everything I do between now and selection is geared towards that."