Cycling: Britain's Cavendish in contention for omnium gold

Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:52pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Mark Cavendish rode a wave of British track cycling gold to put himself in contention for the omnium race on Sunday with three disciplines remaining.

Frenchman Thomas Boudat topped the standings after the scratch race, 4km individual time trial and elimination race with Italian Elia Viviani in second spot, two points behind.

Tour de France stage specialist Cavendish produced a scintillating time trial, going second fastest, 11 seconds quicker than at the London world championships when a poor ride in the discipline left his Rio selection hopes in danger.

However, he was cursing himself when he could finish only seventh in the elimination race when looking comfortable.

He will go into Monday in third place, however, with an eight-point deficit to make up in the final three events, the flying lap, the time trial and the points race.

Cavendish, who won four sprint finishes at the Tour de France to take his tally of victories to 30, is bidding to win an Olympic medal for the first time -- having suffered frustration on the track in 2008 and road four years later.

Britain have already won four of the six track golds in Rio.

Olympic champion Lasse Norman Hansen had looked impressive, winning the 60-lap scratch race and setting a new Olympic record in the 4,000m individual pursuit to have maximum points after two events. But he dropped out first in the elimination race and was sixth going into Monday.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Cycling Track - Preliminary - Men's Omnium 4km Individual Pursuit - Rio Olympic Velodrome - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 14/08/2016. Mark Cavendish (GBR) of Britain.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard