PAUL Oldham admitted he was relieved to have has his spot in England’s team for the Commonwealth Games this summer rubber stamped – because it meant he could finally tell his family and friends.
The Colne star is part of a 31-strong England team heading to Glasgow this summer which also includes track cyclist and Olympic champion Steven Burke – also from Colne.
The squad was announced yesterday but Oldham had known since last month that he would making his Games debut.
“I am really pleased to be selected. That’s the first part of the job done now and it’s just the hard bit of actually competing to come,” he said.
“I actually found out a couple of weeks ago but have not been allowed to say anything which was hard work. If I had told anyone and they had put it on social media I would have been in trouble.
“I have never been to a Commonwealth’s before and it will be a great experience. I have raced in big events like World Championships but there is a big difference to the Commonwealth’s because the general public know what it is.
“There is an athletes village and everything will be on a bigger scale. It is very exciting and I can’t wait.”
Oldham has been in fine form this summer and finished 28th in the elite men’s race at the UEC MTB European Cross-country Championships in Germany last weekend.
And the 36-year-old was delighted with his result.
He added: “It was one of my best performances. I was really pleased with how I rode. At the moment my form is good and it’s just about carrying that on now.
“I’ve got a national series race this weekend and the mountain bike squad have a training camp in July and then it will be nearly Games time – it’s only seven weeks away I think so it will come around quickly.”
Track star Burke was also named in the squad and can be expected to feature for England in the team pursuit, a discipline he won gold in at the London 2012 Olympics.
The 26-year-old could also ride in the individual pursuit although he could face competition from Chorley’s Bradley Wiggins who was named in the squad for the road race.
But the 2012 Tour de France champion could decide to race on the track if he misses out on selection for Team Sky’s Tour squad for this year’s race.