Mark Cavendish backtracks on World Championship chances
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Mark Cavendish backtracks on World Championship chances

by Ben Atkins at 9:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
Manxman talking down his chances after seeing the course for himself

mark cavendishUntil now, Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish had been typically bullish about his chances in Sunday’s World Championships road race in Melbourne, Australia. The Manx Missile had declared that he had a chance of winning on the hilly circuit around Geelong; having seen the course however, he is now having second thoughts.

“This is perhaps a bit too tough,” he said, according to “Until now I hadn’t seen the circuit with my own eyes, I’d just heard a few whispered details.

“On that basis I considered the rainbow jersey feasible, now that I’ve seen it for myself I have revised my opinion; this will be slightly too tough for me.”

Whether this is the usually confident Manxman playing mind games with the opposition will come to light on Sunday morning. Cavendish generally talks up his own chances before races, even when it looks as though he has little chance. He is often criticised for arrogance, a trait often found in the top sprinters, and this latest statement may be an attempt to deflect pressure away from himself.

If Cavendish truly has given up on himself, it’s tough to see what role he might play in the race. The Great Britain team is made up of just three riders, with Jeremy Hunt and David Millar planning to ride in support of the Manx sprinter; if the tactic is to change it could see the team ride for Millar with the unusual sight of Cavendish fetching bottles.

In all likelihood though, the GB team will ride to plan A, and this latest comment is a Cavendish attempt to make the peloton look the other way. The powerful teams in the race will make things as tough as possible for the sprinters, but if they fail to drop the Manxman he will be outstanding favourite at the finish.


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