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Cavendish named in GB track team

Story first published on 16 March

WORLD TRACK CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: Pruskow, Poland Dates: 25-29 March Coverage: Watch on BBC TWO, red button and the BBC Sport website

Mark Cavendish
Cavendish had said he would not race on the track again

Mark Cavendish is a surprise inclusion in the GB squad for the track cycling World Championships in Poland.

Cavendish, who won four Tour de France stages in 2008, said he would not race on the track again after being the only squad member to miss a Beijing medal.

Britain's 19-strong team for the event, which begins on 25 March, includes eight Beijing Olympic medallists.

But the squad is without defending champions Sir Chris Hoy (hip injury), Bradley Wiggins and Rebecca Romero.

We have a great mix of youth and experience and see Poland as our first step on the road to London 2012

Dave Brailsford - British Cycling performance director

Victoria Pendleton, who is expected to defend her women's sprint crown and the women's team sprint alongside Shanaze Reade, is the only defending individual world champion to be named.

Britain won nine golds and two silvers in Manchester last March, with Wiggins taking three titles and Hoy, Romero and Pendleton two each.

In a statement, British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford said: "This has been a winter of experimentation and innovation for the team and our selection of riders reflects that.

"We have a great mix of youth and experience and see Poland as our first step on the road to London 2012."

Hoy was ruled out two weeks ago after failing to recover from injuries he sustained in a high-speed crash at the World Cup event in Copenhagen.

Wiggins has chosen to focus on road racing this season while Romero's future in the sport is uncertain as she has not competed this year.

Cavendish has been named in the endurance squad, which means he could return to the madison, the event he won at last year's world championships with Wiggins.

However, the duo came eighth behind winners Argentina in Beijing and Cavendish reportedly did not speak to Wiggins for three months after they finished

He has since put all his efforts into success on the road, winning the sprinters' green jersey at the Tour of California last month.

606: DEBATE

Asked in an interview with the Observer in November about his track future, Cavendish said: "There's nothing for me to do there now.

"I wouldn't gain anything in my career either financially or in terms of being remembered. It would just be a hindrance to what I can gain on the road."

Cavendish started the penultimate stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race in Italy on Monday without comment.

Veteran Rob Hayles was told last week he would not be selected for Pruszkow and promptly retired from international track events.

So it could be Cavendish will compete in the madison alongside fellow Manxman Peter Kennaugh, who partnered Hayles during the World Cup series.

GB squad for world championships:

Men's sprint: Ross Edgar, Jamie Staff, Matthew Crampton, Jason Kenny, David Daniell

Men's endurance: Chris Newton, Mark Cavendish, Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Peter Kennaugh, Jonathan Bellis

Women's sprint: Victoria Pendleton, Anna Blyth, Shanaze Reade, Jess Varnish

Women's endurance: Wendy Houvenaghel, Lizzie Armitstead, Joanna Rowsell, Katie Colclough

"I've only had five days off the bike after Beijing, it has been tough," Pendleton told BBC Sport.

The 19-strong GB squad is without star names Sir Chris Hoy (hip injury), Bradley Wiggins and Rebecca Romero.

Hoy was ruled out two weeks ago after failing to recover from injuries he sustained in a high-speed crash at the World Cup event in Copenhagen.

Wiggins has chosen to focus on road racing this season, while Romero's future in the sport is uncertain as she has not competed this year.

I will be aiming for gold medals - nothing less will really do, it's what is expected of me

Olympic and World sprint champion Victoria Pendleton

But Mark Cavendish, who won four Tour de France stages in 2008, was a surprise inclusion in the team.

The Team Colombia rider said he would not race on the track again after he was the only squad member to miss out on a medal at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Britain won nine golds and two silvers at the 2008 World Championships in Manchester last March, with Wiggins taking three titles and Hoy, Romero and Pendleton two each.

The success in Beijing, where Great Britain won seven golds out of 10 on the track, will increase expectations for further medals at the 2009 Championships, which begin on Wednesday.

But Pendleton believes that assumption may be unrealistic with preparations for London 2012 in full swing.

"I will be aiming for gold medals - nothing less will really do, it's what is expected of me," said Pendleton, who will defend her women's team sprint alongside Shanaze Reade.

"It's going to be the hardest competition I've ever had to compete in at this standard in this part of my career.

"In Athens, there was a stat to say that not one of the Olympic gold medallists on the track managed to retain their title in any event in the following World Championships. It's difficult to maintain form like that.

"Sometimes we have to step back and re-evaluate some of our training.

606: DEBATE

"That may mean when we approach a major competition, we may not be in the same form as we would be at the Olympic Games and therefore the performances may not as come as easily.

"But in a four-year cycle it has to be like that - you can't maintain a very high standard of performance four years in a row and jump into the Olympics and clean up. It's a lot more structured."

Cavendish has been named in the endurance squad, which means he could return to the madison, the event he won at last year's World Championships with Wiggins.

However, the duo came eighth behind winners Argentina in Beijing and Cavendish reportedly did not speak to Wiggins for three months after they finished.

He has since put all his efforts into success on the road, winning the sprinters' green jersey at the Tour of California last month.

Veteran Rob Hayles was told last week he would not be selected for Pruszkow and promptly retired from international track events.

So it could mean Cavendish will compete in the madison alongside fellow Manxman Peter Kennaugh, who partnered Hayles during the World Cup series.


GB squad for world championships:

Men's sprint: Ross Edgar, Jamie Staff, Matthew Crampton, Jason Kenny, David Daniell

Men's endurance: Chris Newton, Mark Cavendish, Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Peter Kennaugh, Jonathan Bellis

Women's sprint: Victoria Pendleton, Anna Blyth, Shanaze Reade, Jess Varnish

Women's endurance: Wendy Houvenaghel, Lizzie Armitstead, Joanna Rowsell, Katie Colclough



see also
Cavendish claims Milan-San Remo
22 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Will to win undiminished for Hoy
07 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Hoy to miss World Championships
03 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish captures green jersey
23 Feb 09 |  Cycling
Wiggins pulls out of Paris-Nice
11 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Hoy clinches historic third gold
19 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Cycling on the BBC
04 Nov 08 |  Cycling


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