Rio 2016: Mark Cavendish unlikely to ride team pursuit at Olympics

Mark Cavendish will concentrate solely on the Omnium at the Olympics this summer after seemingly to be out of contention for the team pursuit squad.

Rio 2016: Mark Cavendish unlikely to ride team pursuit at Olympics
Cavendish will be aiming for a Gold on the track in the Omnium event / The Telegraph

Prior to the Olympic Games it was unlikely that Mark Cavendish was going to ride in the team pursuit but now the 30 time Tour de France stage winner has said that he is ‘unlikely’ to ride in the track event which kicks-off tomorrow.

Ever since Cavendish made his attentions known that he wanted to come back and race on the track, the Rio Olympics have been a big goal of his. And now that he is in Rio it looks like he will only focus on the Omnium instead of the pursuit event.

That privilege will go to Sir Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull, Ed Clancy, and Stephen Burke; but if anything were to happen to those riders, Cavendish would step in.

But now the Manxman has to get the disappointment out of his system and concentrate on trying to deliver Gold in the Omnium event which starts later this week.

Disappointed Cavendish left the Tour ‘early’ for the team pursuit, but will now focus purely on the Omnium

The 31-year-old qualified for the Omnium event, but was hoping to gain a place in the team pursuit. But during his recent interview with Sky Sports News, the Dimension Data rider did sound rather annoyed at being left out of contention.

I think the lads have been training together and they want to try and do it, If something happens to them then I’ll ride,” said Cavendish.

Cavendish also commented on his teammate, Wiggins, who he has had a strained relationship in the past. And it certainly seems there is some tension between the pair, and whether Cavendish’s latest comments will affect the pair, and more importantly the team remains to be seen.

It seems there might be a bit of tension between Wiggins and Cavendish ahead of the eagerly anticipated track events / RoadCyclingUK
It seems there might be a bit of tension between Wiggins and Cavendish ahead of the eagerly anticipated track events / RoadCyclingUK

Especially Brad has been super stressed; he wants to be the hero and all that. I’m kind of just doing the omnium stuff now I think,” said the 31-year-old.

The Omnium was always the main goal for Cavendish

Many people thought Cav’s powers were waning; both on the road and on the track. His Omnium effort earlier this year at the Track World Championships in London was an indication that he wasn’t quite up to speed.

But on the road he answered many critics during a fabulous Tour where he wore the Yellow Jersey and also sprinted to four stage wins, equalling and surpassing legendary Bernard Hinault’s total.

There is also unfinished business on the track for the ‘Manx’ missile, as he hasn’t yet won a medal at an Olympic Games – so there is pressure on Cavendish at this moment in time.

But speaking of the upcoming Omnium Cavendish said: “At the end of the day I qualified for the Olympics for the Omnium anyway, so I’ll concentrate on the Omnium.