GROTON -- Shelley Olds was a soccer star at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School back in the late 1990's, but to say she has found her niche in a different athletic arena would be putting it mildly.
Olds has been selected to join the U.S. Olympic cycling team and will be competing in London in the Women's Road Race event on Sunday, July 29.
She is one of four women to make the U.S. team and some observers believe she has a shot at winning a medal in what is officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad.
"It's an incredible feeling," she told the Gilroy (Cal.) Dispatch. "The Olympics for women in cycling is the ultimate event. It's what you aim for in your whole career."
The 87-mile race will start and end in central London, on a course that snakes its way to through the suburbs and hills southwest of the city.
The selection by the USA Cycling committee comes on the heels of a whirlwind cycling season for Olds, 31, a 1999 graduate of Groton-Dunstable.
Olds has been riding professionally for a Dutch team in Europe for some time. She has an impressive record in road racing over the last two years, with a number of quality finishes.
This past May, Olds won the Tour of Chongming Island World Cup race in China, besting a strong field by outsprinting Australia's Melissa Hoskins and Italy's Monia Baccaille over the final 300 meters to win a photo finish in 3 hours, 11 minutes, 51 seconds.
The victory was Olds' first in a World
She has also won the USA Cycling national criterium elite division the past two years, the 2010 Pan American Championships road race in Mexico, and other races in Italy, New Zealand and the U.S. since 2010.
Olds moved from Groton to California nine years ago and trained near her parents' home in Gilroy, Calif., before heading overseas in January for the 2012 pro cycling season.
Her parents, John and Pat Dorrell, as well as her brother and his wife, will be heading for London to watch her daughter compete in the Olympics.
After graduating from G-D, the 5-foot-2, 120-pound Olds was a two-year captain in women's soccer at Roanoke College in Salem, Va.