Cav prioritises Olympic Gold

19 June 2012 / 15:14

Mark Cavendish is prepared to sacrifice stage wins at the Tour de France to give himself the best chance of winning gold on the opening day of the Olympics.

The world champion has adapted his training programme to ensure he can meet the unique demands of the London 2012 road race and be perfectly placed for the final sprint along The Mall.

"In cycling the Olympics doesn't rank highly, it is not a prestigious event, but as a Great Britain athlete to compete for the flag I was born under, is a big thing," Cavendish said.

"It brings extra motivation. That is why I am changing (my training). I will not be as successful in the Tour de France as I have been in the past."

Cavendish usually thrives in a bunch sprint and he has won 20 Tour de France stages, but the smaller Olympic field means he will need more than just raw speed to win gold.

With Team Sky focused primarily on helping Bradley Wiggins win the Tour de France yellow jersey, Cavendish has decided to focus his efforts on Olympic glory.

He added: "It is worth it this one year, especially when the team is concentrating on the GC. It is worth doing that for the Olympics."

Team Sky have persuaded Cavendish to embrace a scientific approach to training. Last week he rode the same 11 kilometre hill five times in order to study his power.

The work is already paying off. On Sunday, Cavendish enjoyed the first general classification win of his career at the Ster ZLM Toer in Holland.

"It was a benchmark in my career," Cavendish said in an interview for the Nolan Partners Sport Industry Breakfast Club. "I knew it was possible to do. It is absolutely important (to have won that before the Olympics)."