Rowe and Thwaites ready for Euro Championships

Luke Rowe GB under 23 Olympic Academy

Luke Rowe and Scott Thwaites admit they're unsure how this week's European Road Championships (July 14-17) in Italy will pan out for the strong Great British team, nonetheless they're hopeful of a strong showing.

The pair will ride alongside Olympic Academy talents Tom Moses and Erick Rowsell, and the already established names of Jonny McEvoy, Andy Fenn and Joe Perrett in the battle for road race gold in Offida on Sunday afternoon.

However, Rowe feels the tricky course is not suited to the fastmen.

Speaking to Cycling Weekly, he said: "It's not one for the sprinters. I think it will be a whittling down kind of race.

"Tom Moses rode it at the Junior Worlds and he's told me a bit about it. There are a few climbs - one longer one and one which is more of a kicker. I think there will be about thirty or forty riders at the finish, but I'll give it a good go."

Rowe won two races last week as part of a three-day Euros preparation camp with members of the U23 squad, and he believes he is coming into good form just at the right time.

"I always start the season well, but I was ill just before the nationals," he said. "Now I'm coming up just right."

He also praised the preparation camp, saying that it can only be good for harmony within the team.

"I think the idea of the trip was for the team to gel," he continued.

"We work really well as a unit; we're going to be as good a team as you can be."

Thwaites ready to take a back seat

Riding his first road championships outside of Britain, Endura's promising youngster Scott Thwaites won't mind playing the role of domestique for Rowe.

"I'm not really sure what'll happen out there but I know Luke has been going well this year, and I'll be happy if I'm working for him," he told CW earlier this month.

Thwaites added: "I don't really know what to expect. It'll be a really good experience. I've done international mountain bike races, but this'll be my first one on the road."

ODP prospects Grant Ferguson and Matt Holmes are riding in Saturday's 124km junior men's road race.

Time Trial

Joe Perrett is one of three Brits taking part in the men's under-23 time trial, along with Andy Fenn and Erick Rowsell.

Two years ago Perrett, who finished third in May's National 10, took gold in the Junior Men's TT in Hooglede, Belgium, having been the only rider under the 35 minute mark.

Perrett will hope to emulate Alex Dowsett (Team Sky), who bagged gold in the under-23 event twelve months back.

A few hours before the men compete for glory, Hannah Barnes will look to add yet another victory to her rapidly-growing palmares in the junior women's time trial.

Barnes has taken both the junior women's National 10 and 25 titles this year and, having scaled back her racing schedule following the Women's Tour Series, will be hopeful of more success in Italy.

2011 European Road Championships: Great Britain team

Under-23 men's road race

Andy Fenn

Jonathan McEvoy

Tom Moses

Joe Perrett

Luke Rowe

Erick Rowsell

Scott Thwaites

Under-23 men's time trial

Andy Fenn

Joe Perrett

Erick Rowsell

Junior men's road race

Grant Ferguson

Matt Holmes

Junior women's time trial

Hannah Barnes

2011 European Road Race Championships: Schedule

Thursday 14 July 2011

10:00, Time trial, Under-23 women, 15.1km

14:00, Time trial, Junior men, 25km

Friday 15 July 2011

10:00, Time trial, Junior women, 15.1km

14:00, Time trial, Under-23 men, 25km

Saturday 16 July 2011

09:00, Road race, Under-23 women, 69km

14:00, Road race, Junior men, 124.2km

Sunday 17 July 2011

09:00, Road race, Junior women, 124.2km

13:00, Road race, Under-23 men, 179.4km

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