Cavendish gets Olympic medal shot in Rio

Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:29am EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Mark Cavendish will get the chance to claim a long-awaited Olympic medal in Rio de Janeiro this year after being named in Britain's track cycling team on Friday.

The 30-year-old, the most prolific road sprinter of his generation with 26 Tour de France stage wins, will take part in the multi-discipline omnium event in the Rio velodrome.

Cavendish, who will ride he Tour de France for Team Dimension Data, missed out on a road race medal at the London 2012 Olympics and in the Madison in Beijing eight years ago when partnering Bradley Wiggins.

Olympic road time trial champion Wiggins, 35, returns to his track roots in a bid for an eighth Olympic medal and fifth gold and he will be a key part of the team pursuit squad that was beaten into silver by Australia at the recent worlds.

Ed Clancy and Steven Burke, gold medal winners in London, and Owain Doull make up the quartet with Cavendish as back-up.

Chris Froome, favorite for a third Tour de France yellow jersey next month, will spearhead Britain's road challenge, eyeing a hilly time trial course suited to his style. His Team Sky colleague Geraint Thomas will be a threat in the road race.

World road champion Lizzie Armitstead leads the women's squad with Beijing 2008 time-trial silver medalist Emma Pooley.

Cavendish's place was in doubt when he failed to medal in the omnium at the world track championships in London in March -- the minimum target he had been set by Sutton.   Continued...

Britain Cycling - Team GB - Rio 2016 Cycling Team Announcement - The National Cycling Centre, Sportcity, Manchester - 24/6/16
Great Britain's Mark Cavendish poses
Action Images via Reuters / Ed Sykes