Belfast Telegraph

Mark Cavendish repeats Olympic ambition

By Steve O'Neill

Mark Cavendish has once again signalled his interest in the prospect of competing for Great Britain on the track at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The chances of the Manxman returning to Olympic track cycling – something he has made reference to on a number of occasions – seemed to suffer a setback in November when his team manager said he wanted him to fully concentrate on the road.

Cavendish has two years left on his contract with Omega Pharma-Quick Step, whose boss Patrick Lefevere said: "As long as we pay Mark, I don't want him on the track."

Even when talking about his track hopes himself earlier in November, the 28-year-old rider said the road was ultimately where his loyalties lie.

But speaking yesterday, Cavendish was still not ruling out the possibility of vying for a medal in the velodrome at the Rio Games.

"There is some interest but we'll have to see how it goes," he said.

"I'm a professional road rider – that's where I am and where the profile of cycling is.

"The track is something that, for endurance people, would have to take away from that.

"If it ties in, I'd love to do it. I haven't yet won an Olympic medal and I'd love to do it.

"I'm proud to be British and proud to represent this country, especially at the Olympic Games, so I'd love to do that."

Cavendish, a 25-time Tour de France stage winner, competed on the track at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finishing ninth with Sir Bradley Wiggins in the Madison.

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