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Published 26th Mar 2012

Cyclist Chris Newton near Temenos

Olympic medallist Chris Newton has been assigned the task of unifying Great Britain's women's road squad ahead of the London Olympics.

British Cycling confirmed Newton, a Games medallist on the track in Sydney, Athens and Beijing, will combine his role as coach of the men's endurance academy with his new post as Britain seek to defend the Olympic gold won by Nicole Cooke in 2008.

British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford said: "We're confident that Chris' skills and capabilities will ensure that the women's road team arrive at the London 2012 Olympic Games ready to give their best possible performance."

Newton will work with six riders, with the International Cycling Union set to confirm on May 31 if the hosts have qualified the maximum number of four riders for the 140-kilometre event, which takes place on July 29 and finishes on The Mall.

Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Pooley, Lucy Martin and Sharon Laws, all of whom ride for Dutch team AA Drink-leontien.nl, will be joined by Cooke (Faren Honda Team) and Katie Colcough (Team Specialized-lululemon) in the squad.

Newton said: "It's a privilege to be working with such a talented group of riders and I am looking forward to this new challenge.

"What started out as eight or nine riders on the long list has been shortened down to six riders. My role looks over those six riders."

The squad have already trained on the Olympic road course and at Hampton Court Palace, the venue for the August 1 29km time-trial, and further camps will be held to hone preparations for the Games.

We're so proud because chris Newton was born in Middlesbrough and is an alumnus of Teesside University, a successful road and track racing cyclist, a multiple world champion and Olympian. We wish him the best of luck in this new endeavor.

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