SCOTT Thwaites will realise one of his big ambition on Sunday when he competes for England in the Commonwealth Games road race.
The 24-year-old Burley-in-Wharfedale cyclists has ridden for his country in cyclo cross, mountain bikes and on the road, but never at a major games.
“This is a real honour and something I am really looking forward to,” said Thwaites who will travel to Scotland tomorrow to join up with the rest of the England squad.
Fully refreshed after a recent break, and with the disappointment of missing out on a Tour de France ride for NetApp Endura firmly behind him, Thwaites is raring to go.
He rode the course in the 2013 National Championships and is looking forward to tackling it again. “It is a good course and goes through the centre of Glasgow,” he said. “I feel it is one which suits my riding style so hopefully that is another bonus.”
Thwaites and his England team colleagues will pre-ride the course tomorrow and will then discuss their tactics for the race.
With the 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins having opted to concentrate on the track events after initially being named for the road race, England have still to reveal who will be their team leader.
Thwaites has been building up for the event by training on the roads used earlier this month for the Tour de France and has competed in a couple of Criterium races to hone his speed.
“You need races for that,” he said. “You cannot get speed simply from training so that is why I have had a couple of races recently.”
Once the games are over, Thwaites will head for London for another rare British outing. He will be riding in the Surrey Classic before rejoining his pro team for a Norwegian race in the Arctic Circle.
During the Tour de France it was revealed that Thwaites’ German-based team had signed a new five-year sponsorship deal with German cooking surface and extractor manufacturer BORA. The team for 2015 onwards will be known as Team BORA.
Thwaites, whose contract expires at the end of the year, is looking at his options for next year and he knows that some good results will increase his bargaining power.
“I am hoping to have a good second half to the season and the Commonwealth Games is my starting point. I am really looking forward to the race and the whole experience.
“Major games only come round every four years so it is going to be great to compete in one and sample the special atmosphere.”