CYCLING: MID Cheshire Olympian Emma Davies has signed for a women's professional road team for the coming season.
Davies, who lived most of her life at Lower Peover and attended The Grange School, is Britain's top track-pursuit rider and has got her sights set on the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games over the next 18 months.
In the meantime, she is contesting her first full road season as a member of the Dutch team Vlaanderen-T Interim-Focus.
She told Cycling News: 'I am excited about this season. I believe it can only improve my abilities and take me up to the next level of world-class pursuiting and points competition.'
Davies, who now lives at Denbigh, North Wales, has previously had to contend with taking time off her road season to prepare for the track season.
She had problems slotting back into road races, but now changes in the calendar should accommodate her all-round talent.
'From now on I will be able to concentrate in the summer on the road and it can only be better for me in the long run.
'I was impressed with the (Vlaanderen) set up. It's exciting working with an experienced team.
'We have some strong riders and we'll be competitive. I know I can make a big contribution to the success of the team, while taking my own opportunities when I can.'
Davies, 25, will be based at Gent, Belgium for 12 months with the Tour of Flanders next month her first big fixture for her new team.
She was eighth in the 3,000-metre pursuit championship and 12th in the points race at the Athens Olympics, losing to eventual silver medallist Katy Mactier. She was 10th in the points race at Sydney and fourth at the Manchester Commonwealth Games.
Dad John was an international runner who was fourth in the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games 800m. nGraham Gregory was Weaver Valley Cycling Club's only rider in the North West Recycling.co.uk League 50-mile race at Chester on Sunday and finished 11th.