Milano-Sanremo winner Mark Cavendish returned to track racing on Thursday, but his first foray on the boards since the Beijing Olympic Games was not the success he may have wished for. He lined up for the 15-kilometre scratch race final at the UCI World Track Championships in Pruszkow, Poland, expecting to be a marked man, and he was.
"It's just how it is," he told PA Sport. "I knew coming in here that it was going to be hard to do anything – I was being watched and I didn't expect anything in the scratch."
A group of six riders escaped from the field, and despite a late chase from New Zealand's Hayden Godfrey, the leaders still maintained a half lap advantage coming into the finish.
Frenchman Morgan Kneisky claimed the victory over Argentina's Angel Dario Colla and Austrain Andreas Müller, with Australian Travis Meyer, Kazuhiro Mori (Japan) and Ivan Kovalev (Russia) rounding out the break.
Cavendish took the field sprint for seventh, and will return for the men's Madison this weekend where he will defend his title.