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Sky's the limit for Olympic champion Doull

2016-08-16 15:52
Cycling at the Olympics (Getty Images)

London - Olympic track cycling champion Owain Doull will switch his focus to road racing in the immediate future after signing a contract with the star-studded Team Sky on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Welshman -- who was a member of the four man team pursuit team that took gold in Rio -- said signing for Sky, who number amongst their ranks three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome and another Briton Geraint Thomas, fulfilled another ambition.

"It's always been a bit of a boyhood dream to try and join Sky," Doull said on the team's official website.

"So to finally be at a stage where I'm about to start racing for the team, and then joining the team properly in 2017, is a bit surreal.

"To see how they operate is pretty special. I've also been watching as a fan how the team race, tuning into events like the Tour and seeing how the riders go about that.

"It's something that's incredible to watch, and the way they approach big targets with all the preparation towards it - it's the next level."

Doull, who has shown his aptitude for road racing in finishing third in last year's Tour of Britain riding for the Wiggins team, said he was not turning his back on track cycling and as with cycling icon Bradley Wiggins -- who was in the pursuit quartet -- could envisage the day he returned to it.

"For the future now, I want to go away and concentrate on the road for a couple of years with Sky," he said just after winning the gold medal.

"But this feeling (winning the track gold) is something you'll always want to come back to -- the Olympics is just the pinnacle of sport, I'd love to come back."

Wiggins, whose win in the pursuit made him the most decorated British Olympian with eight medals, five of them gold, said that Doull reminded him of the tenacious Thomas.

"Nothing phases him, he's 23-years-old in an Olympic final and he was bouncing off the ceiling all afternoon in the apartment," said Wiggins.

"He reminds me of G (Geraint Thomas) eight years ago in Beijing (Doull's fellow Welshman teamed up with amongst others Wiggins to win team pursuit gold), (he) can do anything in the sport now."

Team Sky Team Principal Dave Brailsford said he was delighted the team could sign fresh British talent rather than going abroad for new blood.

"From a personal perspective it's always great to be bringing young British talent into Team Sky and it reflects very well on the investment and support Sky has provided through the British Cycling programme, the Wiggins team and, of course, Team Sky," said Brailsford.

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