Olympics: Heartbreak for Cav as Team GB fall short
Mark Cavendish was left without an Olympic medal to add to his 2011 World Championship win in todays road race. Team GB had hoped to lead Cavendish around the 9 laps of the box hill course to set up a famous ‘Manx Missile‘ finish down the Mall. Wiggins and co kept good pace at the head of the peloton, allowing the break away group to set their own pace with the plan to reel them in in the last few kilometres. It seemed to be going to plan as the gap was cut down to 34s, but then the breakaway riders began to move further away.
The Brits battled and battled for Cavendish but couldn’t deliver him to the front of the pack. Chris Froome fell back just beyond halfway with exhaustion and Wiggins dropped pace with 10k to go as Tour de France fatigue appeared to catch up with the Brits. On what was meant to be a glorious day 1 for Team GB, with Cavendish made resounding favourite, it was a lesser known Kazak Vinokourov (a former banned drugs cheat of all people!) who took the Gold Medal.
Cavendish struggled to hide his emotions in his after race interview, but was quick to praise his team mates for giving their absolute all in his quest for an Olympic medal and the thousands of fans who lined the streets with their support. Cav cited other nations tactics as disappointing claiming they were happy as long as a Brit didn’t win the race. The course itself didn’t favour a sprinter, as the British Olympic planning team set out a route that would test all riders and benefit non.
After glory in the Tour de France projected British cycling into the limelight, the Olympics was unable to build on the success, but British fans can be immensely proud of their world class cyclists. With the women lining up tomorrow for their shot at gold, a medal in cycling won’t be too far away in London 2012