OLYMPIAN Emma Davies has signed for a women's professional road team for the coming season.
Davies, from Alsager, is Britain's top track pursuit rider and has her sights set on the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games over the next 18 months. But 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 take time off her road season to prepare for the track season.
She had problems slotting back into road races, but changes in the USI 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,' she said. 'I was impressed with the (Vlaanderen) setup. 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 team.'
The 25-year-old will be based at Gent, Belgium, for 12 months with next month's Tour of Flanders her first big fixture for her new team.
Davies was eighth in the 3,000m 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 finished fourth in the 1970 Commonwealth Games 800m.