Thu, Aug 04, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Cavendish eyes his best chance to win world road race title

AFP, LONDON

Ace British rider Mark Cavendish told the BBC on Tuesday that his best chance yet of winning the world road race title would come in Copenhagen next month.

The 26-year-old — who is coming off a tremendous Tour de France where he won the green jersey — said that a favorable course and a strong British team supporting him gave him real cause for optimism for the championships that run from Sept. 19 to Sept. 25.

“I think with the team I have and the course, it is the best chance of my career to win the worlds,” he said. “It is not pan-flat, but it is flat. It is a technical circuit so we have to stay at the front quite a lot.”

“We can go with a strong team and be the favorites to win,” Cavendish said.

Cavendish, a two-time world champion in the Madison, also revealed he had already chosen who he would ride for next year, but that he would not disclose who it was for some time yet.

His contract with present team HTC-Highroad expires at the end of the year and there has been suggestions he might switch to Team Sky, where another British star, Bradley Wiggins, is the team leader.

Cavendish, who had to beat off unsubstantiated claims during the Tour de France that he held onto cars to help him get through the mountain stages, said his decision was not based on money.

Cavendish, winner of 20 career stages in the Tour de France, said he faces a tough call next year with the Olympic road race in London starting just a week after the Tour de France finishes.

He acknowledged that his professional team may put pressure on him to focus on that.

“In the history of road cycling the Olympics is a big thing, but not the biggest,” the Isle of Man-born star said. “As a professional cyclist, it can’t come at the forefront, but as a British person, the Olympics is a massive thing and at a personal level it comes at the forefront for me.”

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