Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mark Cavendish - And Britain - Win World Road Race Title ...

It was inevitable really.

Cavendish - brilliantly supported by the entire GB Team - won the World Road Race Title on Sunday and will wear the Rainbow Jersey for the next 12 months.

Putting aside the Tour De France (which Cavendish will never win, as he's a pure sprinter) - The World RR Title is the pinnacle for any rider. Last year the popular Thor Hushovd was a worthy winner, but this year the GB Team - the strongest ever - made their plan public. Still no-one was able to stop them delivering Cavendish to near the front with 200m to go. The rest was epic Cavendish.
"I never demand the impossible – but there's no excuse for failure."
- Mark Cavendish
But the task would have been impossible without the entire GB Team involvement. Every time a breakawaBritain finished top of the World Road Cycling medal table with two gold medals, two silver and two bronze.y occured, the GB Team chased it down, in the early stage led by Chris Froome.

The team was managed on the road by the experienced Robert Millar, in the absence of any team radio backup, and he called the tactics perfectly. Bradley Wiggins put in a massive long turn on the front of the peloton to drive the bunch - absolutely burying himself - effectively sacrificing his own chances, which were significant - to deliver the remaining three GB riders to the front.
"At the start of the season I said I had two goals: the green jersey and the rainbow stripes ... Now I get to wear the rainbow bands for the next year."
"The team all rode out of their skins today. It's a shame they can't wear the world champion's jersey as well. I've won the jersey, but I just put the finishing touches to the mission."
- Mark Cavendish
As Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and Cavendish were delivered to the front, the usual barging and shoving meant that the GB team were blocked off - until Ian Stannard elbowed his way through. Geraint Thomas led out ; Cavendish finished off. As he does.

After the week, Britain finished top of the World Road Cycling medal table with two gold medals, two silver and two bronze.
Dave Brailsford
"It's unbelievable to win the road race but it's the entire performance of the team that gives me great pleasure. It's brilliant for Mark, but it's also brilliant for the team."
- British Cycling Chief Dave Brailsford.
Cavendish's victory capped a week in which Bradley Wiggins earned time trial silver, while 17-year-old duo Lucy Garner and Elinor Barker raced to gold and silver in the junior women's road race and time trial respectively.

Bronze medals were picked up by Emma Pooley in the elite women's time trial and Andy Fenn in the men's U23 road race.

There is now no doubt at all that GB are the dominant force in World Cycling - male or female, track or road, our tiny island is the best on two wheels.
"I had to finish it off when the guys rode like that all day ... They buried themselves into the ground and then they came back again, every single last drop. The whole last lap we had Bradley Wiggins on the front when guys were attacking."

"We were left outnumbered at the end - we were left with just a couple and I went a little bit earlier than I had to go. I had to take that opportunity."

"I said on the bus this morning: if we do everything 100% right, we'll win this world title. And the guys did 110% of what they had to do."
- Mark Cavendish