Cavendish on a high as he targets omnium gold

Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:26pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Mark Cavendish's past Olympic appearances have not exactly gone to plan but the Briton says he will arrive in Rio on a high as he bids to justify his return to the velodrome boards with a long-awaited first medal.

The 31-year-old world road champion will ride the multi-discipline omnium event in Brazil, having convinced the British Cycling selectors he has a genuine medal chance.

His place on the team was in doubt when he finished sixth in the omnium at the track world championships in London in March, having been set a minimum target of a podium place.

Since then Cavendish has juggled track training with his 'day job' for Team Dimension Data with whom he won four stages at this month's Tour de France, taking his overall tally to 30, four behind the record of Belgian great Eddy Merckx.

"On a mental point of view I'm on a bit of a high from the Tour," Cavendish said in an interview on Cycling News.

"Not away in the clouds high and it's not like I'm going on a piss up for a week after the Tour de France but I know that the work I've put in is working.

"I know the work I've put in has been beneficial. What we've set out to do this year is played out. It gives you positive feelings for the next goals you have."

Cavendish rode the Madison event with Bradley Wiggins at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but the duo flopped despite being favorites and briefly fell out.   Continued...

Britain Cycling - Team GB - Rio 2016 Cycling Team Media Session - Newport Velodrome, Wales - 25/7/16
Mark Cavendish (L) of Team GB in action
Action Images via Reuters / Tony O'Brien