King excited by ‘incredible’ opportunity

Olympic gold medallist and triple world champion, Dani King with Friends Life Group chief executive Andy Briggs
Olympic gold medallist and triple world champion, Dani King with Friends Life Group chief executive Andy Briggs
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Dani King is raring to go in the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour of Britain.

The Olympic track gold medallist will represent Wiggle Honda in the five-day stage race, which begins in Oundle this morning and finishes in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.

The 23-year-old, who hails from Hamble and is a former member of Portsmouth club i-Team, will ride shoulder-to-shoulder with the cream of women’s road cycling.

Olympic and three-time world road race champion Marianne Vos, who is widely regarded as the greatest-ever female cyclist, will spearhead the Rabo Liv team.

Meanwhile, Lizzie Armitstead – runner-up to Vos at London 2012 – will ride for the Boels-Dolmans outfit.

King is hoping a powerful performance in support of her own team leaders – Italian sprinter Giorgia Bronzini and Kiwi general classification contender Linda Villumsen – will see her catch the eye of England selectors ahead of the Commonwealth Games road race in Glasgow.

She said: ‘It’s incredible women have got the chance to race such a high-profile event in our home country.

‘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, 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.’

King is targeting the individual pursuit, points and scratch races on the track in Glasgow after putting her ommission from the World Championships in Cali in February behind her.

But her sole focus right now is the Women’s Tour.

Alongside King, Bronzini and Villumsen, Wiggle Honda – who are sponsored by Portsmouth’s online tri-sports retailer – have German Charlotte Becker, Aussie Peta Mullins and another London 2012 gold medallist, Laura Trott, in their line-up.

Stage one – a 93.8km blast to Northampton – gets under way at 11am and is expected to end in a bunch sprint.