King targets Commonwealth Games

12:31pm Tuesday 6th May 2014

© Press Association

Olympic champion Dani King hopes a selfless performance in the Friends Life Women's Tour will impress the England selectors ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

King will be competing alongside Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell, her fellow team pursuit gold medallists at London 2012, in the inaugural women's Tour of Britain, which begins in Oundle on Wednesday and concludes in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.

The 23-year-old, from Hamble, rides for the British Wiggle Honda team and will this week be supporting Italian Giorgia Bronzini and Denmark's Linda Villumsen, while also trying to show her ability to England's likely leader in Glasgow, Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans).

"It's incredible women have got the chance to race such a high-profile event in our home country again," King said.

"I'm really, really excited and looking forward to the Tour. It should be a good five days of racing.

"The start list is incredible with some phenomenal road riders - Marianne Vos, Lizzie Armitstead (the Olympic champion and runner-up, respectively), people like that.

"I push myself to race my bike and I'd love to get selected for the road race (in Glasgow).

"The track is my main focus, but I'd be proud to be part of the England team for the road as a domestique for Lizzie."

This week King, who also aims to ride the individual pursuit, points and scratch races on the track in Glasgow, has a team role, with her speed likely to be of assistance to former world champion Bronzini in the sprint finales.

Bronzini has already sounded out Trott for local knowledge as the race passes through the two-time Olympic champion's home town of Cheshunt in Hertfordshire.

King and Trott are inseparable and often room together at events.

The pair emerged for obscurity to win their first world team pursuit titles in 2011 and were dominant and unbeatable at the event for the next three years, including at London 2012.

King had to deal with adversity earlier this year for the first time in her cycling career when she was omitted from the team for the Track World Championships in Cali.

King, who spent much of the Colombian event in tears, said: "I haven't had a bad run since Apeldoorn in 2011, this is my first setback.

"I tried to be positive for the girls. It was really hard for me and I cried through the whole thing, that just shows how passionate I am about racing my bike.

"If I'd had the best preparation and still didn't get selected, I'd be asking questions, but the fact was a lot of different things happened, including injury, illness, to contribute to me not being selected."

With no team pursuit in Glasgow, King will be racing her track team-mates - Trott, Rowsell, Wales' Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald of Scotland - for Commonwealth glory.

It is a prospect she is relishing.

She added: "We all get on so well off the bike and when we're on the bike we'll all want to beat each other."

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