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Cavendish to lead Great Britain ‘dream team’ in tomorrow’s Olympic road race

Mark Cavendish will lead Great Britain’s ‘dream team’ in tomorrow’s Olympic road race.

Mark Cavendish trains with David Millar on the Olympic road race course in Surrey. Picture: Surrey County Council

The world road race champion, who won three stages of the Tour de France earlier this month, two after lead outs from Sky team-mate and fellow Team GB member, Bradley Wiggins, has spoken of his satisfaction after training with the five strong team.

Cavendish will be supported by Tour de France champion Wiggins, runner up Chris Froome, David Millar, winner of stage 14, and British champion, Ian Stannard.

Cavendish told a press conference: “We were out today and we were just buzzing. The team came properly together yesterday, and we went out today and we were just motoring along in training. I looked around it, it’s just a dream team, there’s a dream team there.

“If we wanted to win this bike race we couldn’t be in a better situation team-wise,” he said.

Some 145 riders from 61 different nations, the majority of whom ride in cycling’s elite WorldTour, will roll off The Mall at 10am tomorrow.

They will tackle a 250km route that will take them through Richmond Park and into Surrey before looping back into central London for a finish in front of Buckingham Palace, expected at 3.35pm.

British Cycling’s performance director, Dave Brailsford, has ruled out attempting victory with another team member.

Brailsford, who is also the general manager at Team Sky, has spoken recently in praise of Wiggins, suggesting the Londoner, who last week became the first Briton in history to win the Tour, can still improve.

But he has insisted that Team GB will pursue only one route to victory tomorrow, by attempting to control the race to set up a sprint on The Mall, much as they did last year to deliver Cavendish to victory in the world road race championship in Cophenhagen.

Their task will be made harder by the reduced number of riders allowed for the Olympics ( a maximum of five per team, as opposed to nine at the world championships) and by a challenging course for a sprinter like Cavendish.

“If we can make it a sprint then I’m the faster sprinter in the world, but I’m not the strongest climber in the world so we’ve got confidence in the sprint, but we’ve got to get there,” the world champion said.

He can rely on the support of Wiggins, who has spoken in glowing terms of his teammate’s ability and dedication.

Wiggins said: “This is what Cav has been living for for most of the year. He’s looking as fit as I’ve ever seen him on the bike and we’re approaching the thing he’s been thinking about since he won the world title. In our minds there’s no doubt that he’s going to be there in the final.

“He’s been there for me the last month and now he can sense that it’s his turn and we’re all there for him.

“It’s probably the strongest Great Britain Olympic team on the road that has ever been assembled. We’re all quite humble about our achievements, but externally we must look an incredible dominant force.

“I think people know what we’re up to, what we’re going to do. It’s no secret Cav wants to win it. He’s got four incredible guys to help him do that.

“We’ve got the fastest man in the world and I guess it’s for other people to combat that.”

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