Road Cycling News

Mark Cavendish to be supported by full-strength team at London 2012

Mark Cavendish will be supported by a full-strength Great Britain team when he attempts to add Olympic gold to his world title at London 2012.

Mark Cavendish claimed World Championship gold in September

Great Britain finished fifth in the UCI’s WorldTour rankings and cycling’s world governing body has confirmed the maximum quota of five riders for the Olympic road race on July 28 2012. Two members of the squad will ride the time trial three days later.

“This is a very satisfying achievement for us and the contribution of all the riders and the support team has been fantastic,” said British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford.

“Our progress over the past 12 months in particular has been good, meaning we have been able to steadily build up Olympic qualification points and achieve the aim of taking a full squad to the Games.”

Eight British riders – Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins, David Millar, Ben Swift, Peter Kennaugh, Stephen Cummings, Geraint Thomas and Adam Blyth – scored UCI ranking points in 2011.

That saw Great Britain qualify the same number of riders for September’s World Championship, where a seamless performance helped the Manx Missile to become the first Briton to win the rainbow jersey since Tom Simpson in 1965.

Now Cavendish’s attentions turn to 2012, when, after riding the Tour de France for Team Sky, he will start the Olympic road race as favourite after winning the test event. Australia, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the USA also qualify five riders.

British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake added: “We’re obviously delighted at the news and I’d like to congratulate Dave and his team for all their hard work in making this happen. This achievement shouldn’t be underestimated in what is an extremely competitive environment.

“We have said all along that the creation of Team Sky would boost our Olympic preparations and this really brings it home as a reality. That will never be so important as in the immediate run-up to the Games, and everyone at both British Cycling and Team Sky is fully committed to ensuring our riders hit the start line on The Mall in the best possible shape.”

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