Published: 27 July 2012
Report: Scott Hobro
Mark Cavendish is confident Great Britain’s ‘dream team’ can deliver him to gold medal glory on The Mall in the Olympic men’s road race.
The road world champion, a British Cycling member, will be supported by Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, runner-up Chris Froome, British champion Ian Stannard and David Millar on the 250km route on Saturday.
All five were part of the squad that helped Cavendish to victory in Copenhagen in last year’s UCI Road World Championships in September, a month prior to Cavendish winning in the London-Surrey Classic Olympic test event.
With a smaller team to control the race compared to the nine-men who were at Cavendish’s disposal in Denmark, Saturday’s race will provide a sterner challenge but the Manx missile believes there is a fantastic team ethic within the group.
"We were motoring along in training and I just looked round and it's the dream team,” Cavendish said.
"We've got first and second on GC (general classification) of the Tour de France, four guys who won stages of the Tour de France (Wiggins, Froome, Millar and himself) and a British champion.
"All the guys are incredibly motivated, incredibly patriotic and incredibly loyal to each other. If we wanted to win this bike race we couldn't be in a better situation team-wise.”
Cavendish became the first British winner of the green points jersey in the 2011 Tour de France, adding to his 2010 Vuelta a Espana points success. Despite his record, the Team Sky rider admits to still getting tense about the opportunity to win Team GB’s first medal at the Games.
"An Olympic medal, regardless if it's the first or last on offer, it's an Olympic medal for your team. It's easy to get emotional about it. I've been nervous this week,” Cavendish said.
"We've trained to be able to deal with those nerves and we've got to put it to bed.
"We've got a process which we have to adhere to. It's a process we know if we commit 100% we've got the best chance of winning."
After playing part of the support team to Wiggins in the Tour de France, in which Cavendish still managed three victories which included continuing his 100% on the Champs-Élysées, the roles will now be reversed. For Wiggins, 32, it is the greatest Great Britain Olympic road team in history which is gunning for gold for Cavendish.
"This is what Cav has been living for for most of the year,” Wiggins said. "He's looking as fit as I've ever seen him on the bike and we're approaching the thing he's been thinking about since he won the world title. In our minds there's no doubt that he's going to be there in the final.
"He's been there for me the last month and now he can sense that it's his turn and we're all there for him."
"It's probably the strongest Great Britain Olympic team on the road that has ever been assembled. We're all quite humble about our achievements, but externally we must look an incredible dominant force.
"I think people know what we're up to, what we're going to do. It's no secret Cav wants to win it. He's got four incredible guys to help him do that.
"We've got the fastest man in the world and I guess it's for other people to combat that."
The men’s Olympic road race begins at 10.30am on Saturday and is available to watch on the BBC and on the BBC Sport website as well as live text commentary on the British Cycling website.