Cavendish renounces track competition, will have just one shot at gold in London 2012
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Cavendish renounces track competition, will have just one shot at gold in London 2012

by Conal Andrews at 8:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track

British sprinter Mark Cavendish has said that he is walking away from track racing, thus banking all hopes of a medal in the London 2012 Olympics on the road race.

“I had my chance in Beijing 2008 and I have not taken it,” he told La Gazzetta Dello Sport, referring to the Madison pairing with Bradley Wiggins that failed to produce the desired result. “Also, the track is becoming too much of a specialised discipline and the programme has dropped the Olympic points race and the Madison. It means that at the London 2012 Games, at home, I will focus only on the road to aim for gold, with no distractions.”

Cavendish is one of the fastest riders in cycling, and has shown in the past two seasons that he is the best road sprinter. He has a good history of track competition, winning the gold in the Madison in the 2005 and 2008 world championships, and also winning the scratch races at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

However an attempt to add to that tally in last year’s world track championships failed to produce any medals and, it seems, that will be the last time he targets major events in the velodrome.

Instead, he will focus fully on the road. He’s named a second win in Milan San Remo and the Tour de France green jersey as two big goals for 2010, and also wants to make the most of two chances to take the rainbow jersey.

“The world championship is a race that gives me the shivers,” he said. “Melbourne 2010 will not only be for sprinters, but I can be in front at the end. I will have a strong team that I can bring there. And next year there is Copenhagen, with another chance for me.”

The HTC Columbia rider will begin his season in the Tours of Qatar and Oman, and will also line out in the Tour of Flanders. He’s named victory in the Belgian Classic as one of his future goals in the sport.


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