Wiggins: Cavendish will thrive at Olympics

Tue, 27 Sep 16:09:00 2011

Newly-crowned road race world champion Mark Cavendish will thrive under the pressure of competing at the London Olympics next year, according to his British team mate Bradley Wiggins.

Mark Cavendish - 0

The Manx rider, who already has 20 Tour de France stages to his name, increased the burden of expectation on Sunday by becoming the first male British rider in 46 years to win the world title.

"I think he will thrive on that," triple Olympic pursuit cycling champion Wiggins told Reuters at the opening of a TeamGB merchandise outlet at a shopping centre on the edge of the Olympic Park in east London.

"He's a winner through and through and he'll take strength from that."

Wiggins, looking forward to his fourth Olympics, warned however that there was a big difference between the Games and world championships.

"The Olympics is so different," he said. "There is only a five-man team in the Olympic road race, one of which has to come from the time trials. So the circumstances are never going to be the same as they were in Copenhagen.

"It's going to be an incredibly difficult task to win that Olympic road race. It's almost not comparable."

Wiggins was one of seven riders helping Cavendish to win the title on the road in Denmark and they could be even closer team mates next year with the new champion strongly tipped to join Team Sky.

"I suppose the announcement will be imminent as to where Mark will be racing next season and obviously Sky are the big favourites to get his autograph," said Wiggins, a time trial silver medallist in Copenhagen.

"We'll see. If he does come it will be fantastic having the world champion in the team.

"Deep down I'm sure he wants to be with us. Six of the seven guys that were riding with him at the weekend were all Team Sky so I think that shows the strength of the team we've got and I'm sure he'd love to be part of that."

Cycling's status as one of the big draws of the Games was emphasised on Tuesday by Wiggins's presence at the TeamGB shop, with a model cycling track prominent in the entrance.

Visiting the real Velodrome, in the nearby Olympic Park, was low on the rider's list of priorities however.

"I haven't been there yet, haven't even seen it," he said. "One track's like another track almost and you tend to just see it in the days before."

"I think the home advantage, certainly in cycling terms, will come from the crowds," added the 31-year-old.

Men's road race

Reuters

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