Cav: It's all about the team
Sprinter aims to start Games in perfect style for Team GB
Last Updated: May 1, 2012 4:12pm
Mark Cavendish: Teamwork will again be the key to cycling success in Olympic road race
World champion Mark Cavendish would like his team-mates to share in the glory and adulation if he wins the London Olympic Games road race.
The 26-year-old from the Isle of Man, who on Saturday is set to start the Giro d'Italia, his first Grand Tour for Team Sky, will be one of the favourites for the July 28 race through Surrey, which finishes on The Mall.
Prolific winner Cavendish always thanks his team-mates after every success, but he would like them to be rewarded too.
He said: "For me, every rider of the Olympic road race should get a medal. It doesn't matter if you have five guys in, three guys, one guy.
"What makes cycling special is that you have guys who are committing themselves for the pride of their jersey.
"It takes a special group of people to do that and I am lucky to have special people around me."
Cavendish last September won the 2011 World Championships road race in Copenhagen, becoming the second Briton after Tom Simpson in 1965 to win the one-day race and claim the rainbow jersey.
The Manxman was the leader of an eight-strong British team that day which also included David Millar, who was cleared to be selected for London after the British Olympic Association's bylaw banning drug cheats was deemed unenforceable on Monday.
Britain have qualified the maximum number of five riders for the Olympic road race. However, two of those will also be involved in the time-trial, which takes place on August 1.
Bradley Wiggins, who was a key figure in Copenhagen after taking time-trial silver, has previously said he would target the London race against the clock, while Millar, Chris Froome and Alex Dowsett are in contention for the second time-trial place.
Cavendish has repeatedly stated his desire to have Millar, the team captain in Denmark, in the road team at the Olympics, in part due to the Scot's experience in an event where race radios are banned.
"In Copenhagen we had eight guys and we controlled how the best 200 bike riders in the world rode that race," Cavendish said.
"With fewer guys it will not be possible to control how everyone else does so you have to take it more on controlling how you race your slot in the race.
"It takes a wealth of experience to be able to know what you are doing in relation to everybody else. It is a lot harder than it looks on TV."
Cavendish has won some of cycling's biggest prizes and, although Olympic gold is not the highest accolade in the sport, it would mean a great deal.
Cavendish, who hopes to defend his Tour de France points classification green jersey in July, said: "The Olympics come round every four years. And this one is in London which makes it a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will be a massive day."