Mark Cavendish set to miss Olympic track events due to Omega Pharma-Quick Step commitments
Last Updated: 21/11/13 2:57pm
Mark Cavendish: Rio track events looking unlikely for Manxman
Mark Cavendish's team manager appears to have put an end to his hopes of racing on the track at the 2016 Olympic Games.
The 28-year-old has hinted at a return to the velodrome in Rio but Omega Pharma-Quick Step boss Patrick Lefevere insists he wants the former Team Sky rider to stick to road racing for the two years remaining on his contract.
Cavendish took part in the International Belgian Open in Ghent in September to earn the qualifying points he needs to remain eligible for track events, but Lefevere has revealed he denied the Manxman permission to take part in another race, the Ghent Six, over concerns about how it could impact his road career.
"We pay him to perform well on the road and he must concentrate fully on that," said Lefevere.
"Two riders crashed out on the first night of the Ghent Six. What if Mark had been one of them? What's more, racing on the track makes preparing for next season more complex. I can tolerate the track with (Iljo) Keisse and (Niki) Terpstra, but not with Cavendish.
"You can never say never, but this year it didn't happen and it won't happen next year either.
"As long as we pay Mark, I don't want him on the track. He has enough time to do it with another team."
Cavendish looks certain to accept Lefevere's decision, having said earlier this month that while he retained an interest in the track, the road would always come first for him.
"I'm a professional on the road," he said. "I ride for a pro road team and ultimately that is where my loyalties lie."