This story first appeared in the April 10 issue of Cycling Weekly.
The British team for Beijing keeps getting stronger. Emma Pooley?s rides at last year?s world championships cemented her place alongside Nicole Cooke for the Olympic road race, now a new name has entered the fray for the third spot.
Sharon Laws arrived back in the UK on Monday having lived in Australia for two years, and stepped straight in to the Halfords Bikehut team. She will pull on a GB jersey for the first time at the women?s Flèche Wallonne on April 23.
Laws, a talented climber, will join forces in Belgium with both Pooley and Cooke to make what could be an Olympic dream team. ?All of a sudden, from just having Nicole, we?ve got what is potentially the strongest team on the start line,? British Cycling?s Performance Director Dave Brailsford said.
The 33-year-old has a background in mountain bike enduro, and adventure racing, but came to prominence this year when she finished second to High Roads Oenone Wood at the Australian national championships this January.
The race was run on a hilly course, and the Australian?s immediately saw Laws?s potential, ?they were trying to arrange for her to take Australian citizenship,? Brailsford explained. Laws was quoted at the time saying she would listen to any offers, but BC was quickly on the case. Both Shane Sutton and Doug Dailey were in contact with Laws, making the necessary arrangements that have resulted in her moving back to the UK.
Having grown up in south Wales before moving to Melbourne, Australia on a two-year secondment with her work at Rio Tinto. With an Olympic place up for grabs, her work is now on hold and she has moved back with her family in Gloucester.
See tomorrow’s Cycling Weekly for news of another addition to the Great Britain road squad ? Barloworld’s Chris Froome, who has ridden for Kenya.