Mark Cavendish pays tribute to GB teammates after missing out on Olympic Gold
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mark Cavendish pays tribute to GB teammates after missing out on Olympic Gold

by Ben Atkins at 12:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
World champion critical of rivals’ team tactics as the break stays away

mark cavendishMark Cavendish has paid tribute to his Great Britain teammates, after missing out on Olympic Gold in the London 2012 road race. The World champion started the race as outstanding favourite, should it end in a bunch sprint, but the five-man team was unable to pull back a substantial breakaway in time for the finish.

"We rode the exact race we wanted to ride,” the Manxman told BBC Radio 5Live. “We wanted to control it and we wanted the group at a minute. We expected teams to come and chase at the end with us. We controlled it with four guys for 250 km and we couldn't do more. We are human beings.

"There was a group of 22 who got away and we couldn't pull them back,” he explained. “The four guys who ran all day couldn't do it. The Germans came a bit too late and the other teams seemed to be more content that they wouldn't win as long as we didn't win. That's kind of how it goes.”

Having started the race with the Tour de France winner and runner up, in Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, along with Tour stage winner David Millar, and British champion Ian Stannard, Team GB was seen as a ‘Dream Team’ and were expected to control the race. With most of the teams having put riders in the big breakaway group however, the British riders received very little help from any of Cavendish’s rivals.

"I can be proud of how the lads rode today,” the World champion said. “I'm proud of my country as there was incredible support. The guys are sat there, they are spent. They have got nothing left in the tank. It's incredible to see that. To see what they gave for the cause.

“It seems that most teams are happy not to win if we don’t win,” he added. “That’s the story of our lives in cycling it shows what a strong nation we are and we have to take that as a compliment but it’s bitterly disappointing. There’s 70 guys in our group at the finish, I don’t understand why there’s only three guys riding it doesn’t make sense.”

Following from Great Britain’s recent success in cycling, including Cavendish’s World championship victory last year, but especially after Wiggins’ Tour win, the route of today’s race - particularly the Box Hill circuit, which was completed nine times - was lined with thousands of fans, cheering on the home team.

“We don’t pick up on individuals we just kind of hear a noise but that was tremendous the whole way round it was something I’ll remember forever,” said Cavendish.

"We may not have won a medal but I'm completely proud of my team and completely proud of my country."


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