Chris Froome and Lizzie Armitstead will lead the Great Britain cycling gold rush at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, according to former champion Chris Boardman. Froome will compete in the men's road race and time trial this summer while Armitstead will seek to add the road race crown to her world and Commonwealth titles.
Froome, the Team Sky rider, is eyeing an unprecedented treble this summer and is targeting winning the Tour de France as well as completing the Olympic double in Brazil. A bronze medallist from London 2012, the 30-year-old is looking to win his third yellow jersey before turning his attention to Rio and Boardman believes the schedule means Froome could realise his ambitions.
"The Tour and the road race are feasible," the former individual pursuit Olympic champion from Barcelona 1992 told IBTimes UK. "It will be someone who comes out of the Tour de France who wins the Olympic road race. Given the nature of the course Chris Froome has got a very good shot at it, although he is not a natural single day rider.
"He is a winner. When he rode the support role with Sir Bradley Wiggins and we could see the frustration. That is the mentality of winning; you're looking for opportunities all the time. He has to prioritise the Tour de France, which comes first so that is great. If [the triple] doesn't come off then he will not have compromised at all so that works quite well.
"The time trial is the shortest event so if he goes flat out he still has enough time before the road race so it all stacks up in the right order so there is no reason why he should lose anything by trying to go for all three and he should be competitive for all three."
Armitstead enjoyed a stellar 2015 winning the road race title at the world championships in Virginia and claiming the Road World Cup with three race wins during the year. The Yorkshire-born cyclist has already prevailed three times during this year's competition, including last weekend at the Tour of Flanders, to take an overall lead after five races.
Her run of form raises the tantalising prospect of another match-up with Netherlands' Marianne Vos, who won her first race since returning from injury in Belgium last week. The pair duelled for road race gold at London 2012, with the Dutchwoman prevailing in a sprint down The Mall, but Boardman believes there could be a different result in Rio.
"She has showed that she will absolutely be competitive," he added. "It is a tough course in Rio which is going to suit her. In a sense [her form] could make it harder for her because she is becoming the standout favourite.
"Vos is making her comeback now and if she continues the way she is going she will be highly competitive. Lizzie has put herself in a group of half a dozen riders, possibly less than that, that will be favourites for the event. Her start to this season has been phenomenal.
"Lizzie has moved forward and Vos has been so good for so long. I don't think it will be as clear-cut. In London you could say that of the two, Vos is going to win, but I don't think you can say that anymore if it came down to the two of them."
BoardmanBikes is the Official Bike Partner to the Marie Curie Etape Caledonia, an 81-mile closed road cycling sportive taking place on Sunday 8th May in Pitlochry, Perthshire. General entries have now sold out, but participants can still be one of the 5,000 cyclists to take part in the iconic cycling event by joining the 'Marie Curie 400 Club'. Entrants should visit www.etapecaledonia.co.uk to secure their place at the start line alongside Chris.