British reigning world champion Mark Cavendish was set to spearhead Team GB’s hunt for an early gold medal as the cycling road race kicked off the opening day of the London Olympic Games on Saturday.
AFP - Tour de France sprint king Mark Cavendish was set to spearhead Britain's hunt for gold medal glory on the opening day of the Olympics Saturday.
Cavendish, the reigning world champion, lines up as the hot favourite for the 250 km men's road race which starts and finishes on The Mall within sight of Buckingham Palace.
The Isle of Man rider will be supported by David Millar, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Ian Stannard, the national champion.
With the exception of Stannard, all of Britain's five riders won stages at the Tour de France, where Wiggins claimed an historic yellow jersey triumph last Sunday.
They are expected to provide crucial support for Cavendish throughout the race, especially over the nine laps of a circuit which includes the climb of Box Hill.
Cavendish said: "If it goes to a sprint I'm not worried about it at all. I'm flying at the moment. It's just whether we can control the race and not let a breakaway smash it on the hills."
Among Cavendish's big challengers will be Slovakian Peter Sagan, Australian Matt Goss, Belgians Philippe Gilbert and Tom Boonen, Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez, Swiss Fabian Cancellara and German Andre Greipel.
If successful, Cavendish would succeed Spain's Samuel Sanchez to become Britain's first Olympic men's road race champion.
Date created : 2012-07-28