British sprinter Mark Cavendish is still bitter about being denied a medal at the Olympic Games this summer, he told The Guardian Saturday. After winning four stages at the Tour de France, the Team Columbia star quit the race, giving up a chance to challenge for the green points classification jersey, in order to prepare for the Beijing Games.
Cavendish was due to race the Madison with Bradley Wiggins, a pairing which was successful at winning the World Championship in March. But while every other British track racer went home with a medal, Cavendish was denied when he and Wiggins failed to make the winning move and came in ninth place.
"I was pissed at Brad after the Olympics," Cavendish said. "But if he's made to train for four kilometres for sure he's not going to be good at 50 kilometres [in the Madison]. They [British Cycling] were all about the team pursuit. In training they would ignore me while they timed the pursuiters. They trained so much for that they forgot the Madison. Well, they didn't forget, they didn't give a shit. I felt massively let down and I'm still bitter now.
"The biggest regret of my career is quitting the Tour. I was fighting for the green jersey. I could have potentially won on the Champs-Élysées. I made a commitment to the track team and they didn't give anything back."