Cavendish: Bring on the Olympics

Mon, 23 Jul 12:56:00 2012

Mark Cavendish went off the radar for two weeks during the Tour de France, only for the Briton to re-emerge with victories in the last two sprints of the race right on cue for the London Olympics.

Tour de France†: ITW Mark

After winning the second stage, Cavendish was never in the mix when Andre Greipel claimed three stage victories. But on Sunday, the German rider was nowhere to be seen as the Manx Missile snatched his fourth victory on the Champs Elysees.

Cavendish's win came just six days before the Olympic road race, an event he will contest with three Team Sky mates and David Millar.

Millar is expected to be Cavendish's lead-out man. If he needs one.

Earlier this year, Tour de France champion and team mate Bradley Wiggins said of Cavendish that he could win a sprint "with a black bin bag on his head".

"He does not need much help. He is so fast."

Cavendish proved Wiggins right when he won his last two sprints in awe-inspiring fashion, kicking off his effort from over 200 metres from the line.

"I planned to go at 300 to go. I knew I could go long, especially with the wind today. It was a side back cross wind. Last year it was a block headwind," he said.

"You could go slightly early. I was going to go at 300 but we came around the last corner at such speed that I thought I'd just use my acceleration now and hopefully distance the other guys and hold on.

"It was a gamble, but it was one that paid off."

It is, however, a season-long effort, according to Cavendish, who claims he has been ready for some time.

"I've had good form since the Giro d'Italia. Everything's on target since then, it still is," he said.

"I'm very ready for the Olympics now. Between four of the five guys who are in the Olympic Games squad, there are seven stage wins at the Tour de France so we're going to have an incredibly strong team and we're not just going to the Games to see how it goes.

"We're fully excited about it and we'll just wait for next Saturday. My legs are really good. You've seen my sprint is really good and I just like getting to the finish. I've got an incredible team to try and do that in London four out of five of us have won stages here."

Reuters / Eurosport

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