By Susan Westemeyer
Mark Cavendish arrived home from the Tour of California and spent a few days at home on the Isle of Man before going to the Manchester Velodrome for the British Madison Championship, only to get the bad news that partner and Team High Road team-mate Bradley Wiggins was sick and unable to ride. His new partner was Peter Kennaugh, who won a number of six-day races over the winter. Any questions as to how the newly-formed duo might perform or how Cavendish's road racing might affect his track ability were quickly answered as they dominated the race. They ended up winning two laps ahead of their closest rivals.
The two won the first sprint and kept things under control the rest of the race. "Teams would attack off the front and Cavendish would take his time, launch himself and destroy the move in a lap or two. He was quite simply awesome and if this is the type of form we can expect for the World Track Championships at Manchester in a few weeks then Cavendish and whoever his partner is for the event will surely set the track alight," raved britishcycling.org. "Mark Cavendish showed in the sprints that despite no track work since January, his class was enough to see him sprint well clear of the rest, winning by lengths at will and then with 114 laps to go after a steady opening, he and Kennaugh took a lap with ease."
Cavendish said, "it was good and the form was good but it wasn't just me out there, I had Peter there who was going really well. The first time we ever Madison changed together was in that race and it felt right." He admitted that he was using the race to test himself. "There was no need to go for the lap at the end but I wanted to see how we could go after it had been on for the last 100 laps. I thought that would be a good test to see how we can go at the end of a race like the Worlds."
The young Manxman may have been suffering from jet lag, but he didn't show it. "I came home Tuesday [from California] and paid extra out of my pocket to fly business class so I was in the best form to come here. I had trouble sleeping this week but had quite good form. I came here last night and will go back tomorrow."
Kennaugh noted, "the race went really well and to plan. It was steady at the start and then geared up towards the end. The first lap we took was alright and didn't really hurt that much but the last two lap takes I was relying on Cav a bit. We worked really well. In LA [Los Angeles World Cup - ed.] with Rob it was quite weird because of the height difference but me and Cav are similar heights and it was really good. Everyone else was going alright but they were unable to come with us when we properly turned it on but fair play to them for getting stuck in."