Olympics

British cycling 'dream team' ready to deliver

Share This Story

   
 

WOKING, England (AP)

After three weeks of pain and hard work led to a historic win in the Tour de France, Bradley Wiggins and his British teammates may have been forgiven for treating themselves to a nice relaxing time at their lavish Surrey retreat.

But there's no time to get carried away. The road race is Saturday, and the cyclists have one goal: propelling world champion Mark Cavendish to gold and giving Britain its first Olympic title of the London Games.

A bookmakers' favorite, Cavendish wants to add the Olympic title to the gold medal he won at the world championships last year.

''It's a dream team,'' Cavendish said on Thursday at the hotel located in the middle of the countryside, just a few miles away from the Olympic road race course. ''We've got the first and second of the Tour de France, four guys who won stages at the Tour de France, the British champion, four guys incredibly motivated, four guys incredibly patriotic, incredibly loyal to each other.''

The British team is made up of Cavendish, Wiggins, Christopher Froome, David Millar - all of whom won stages during the Tour - and British champion Ian Stannard.

Cavendish, a winner of 23 Tour de France stages, trained specifically for the Olympic road race over the last 12 months, losing about 8 pounds and improving his power-to-weight ratio to be able to tackle the nine climbs of the Box Hill loop highlighting the 155-mile (250-kilometer) race.

Many riders and pundits expect the race to be won or lost in that section. Cavendish, who dedicated himself to Wiggins' bid to win the Tour during three weeks, will count on his teammates to protect him in the climbs.

As it did during its Tour fairy tale, the British team is expected to ride up front on Saturday to try and control the race.

''Even with four guys around me there is no way I could go over Box Hill unscathed,'' Cavendish said. ''I needed four of the best bike riders in the world to be able to do that.''

Cavendish won the world title last year in Copenhagen, Danemark, with the same riders around him.

Wiggins is adamant he will work hard for Cavendish, vowing to finish the road race instead of prioritizing his own ambitions to win gold in the Olympic time trial on Aug. 1.

''I've got a job to do,'' he said. ''You've got a 250-kilometer race and three days to recover, in a nice hotel.''

Will Cavendish celebrate if he lives up to expectations and wins the medal a whole country is expecting him to get? Don't count on it.

Cavendish said he will travel to Belgium on Sunday to race in a small event before competing in France and the Netherlands.

''I don't really celebrate anything,'' he said. ''Even last year after the Tour (when he won the green jersey) I did not have a party. I was the only one in the team that was not drunk.''

Tagged: Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


OLYMPIC VIDEOS

Olympian Van Dyken injured in ATV accident

Posted: Jun 09, 2014
America's Pregame provides an update on the condition of former Olympic swimmer ...

Phelps clocks fastest qualifying time in return

Posted: Apr 24, 2014
Michael Phelps clocks the fastest qualifying time in 100-meter butterfly at the ...

Clark claims 7th US Open halfpipe crown

Posted: Mar 09, 2014
Watch Kelly Clark land the first-ever cab 1080 en route to claiming her 7th win ...

Gold wins US Open halfpipe

Posted: Mar 09, 2014
Watch Taylor Gold's US Open-clinching run in the halfpipe, featuring an epic Fro...

Blind skier prepares for 2014 Paralympic Games

Posted: Mar 07, 2014
Blind skier Staci Mannella pushes the limits as she prepares for the 2014 Paraly...

Fox Sports Store