Cavendish eyes track return

04 August 2012 / 18:15

World road race champion Mark Cavendish intends to return to the Olympic velodrome for the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016 after being inspired by watching his Great Britain team-mates win gold in London on Friday.

The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man won the world title in Copenhagen last September and has 23 Tour de France stage wins but an Olympic medal is missing from his cycling CV.

Cavendish entered the 2008 Olympics as Madison world champion alongside Bradley Wiggins, but finished ninth, before finishing 29th in the road race on the opening day of London 2012.

However, he is tempted to return to the velodrome where his career began after watching Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh win Olympic gold.

He told Sky Sports News: "I watched the guys and looked at the camaraderie and thought 'I want to be part of that again'. I've spoken to the coach (Dan Hunt) this morning.

"I don't think a road race would suit me too well around Rio but I'd love an Olympic gold and to share it with the guys I've grown up with. I'd like to push for a position at Rio in 2016.

"I'd like to be part of the team pursuit because I thrive working with other people, gaining their trust. I enjoy working like that and that's what I aim to do."

The Olympic gold medal-winning quartet committed fully to the team pursuit, particularly since November and Cavendish's Team Sky colleagues Thomas and Kennaugh completed a road programme only to complement their track work.

Cavendish would likely have to do something similar in Rio, therefore missing almost a full season of road racing.

He added: "Before then I've got three or four Tours de France and 300 days on the road. In a lot of sports you work for four years to prepare for one goal but it's our day job and we've got to go out and perform on the circuit. I'm straight back racing next week. You have to prepare for a good year on the track but I think it's worth it to try to get an Olympic medal."