First Olympic medal for Cavendish in men's omnium

Briton claims silver with Viviani winning gold despite late crash in points race

Having finished second in the men's omnium, Mark Cavendish can now call himself an Olympic Games medallist. Having missed out in 2008 on the track and in 2012 on the road, the 31-year-old was unable to overall Elia Viviani (Italy) for the gold but did enough to hold off London gold medallist Lasse Norman Hansen for silver by two points.

There was a nervous wait for Cavendish, who was involved in a crash with Korea's Sanghoon Park as officials decided not to take any action, before he was awarded the medal.

"I'm happy. I've got my Olympic medal. It's really nice," Cavendish said.

"I should look where I'm going," added Cavendish of the crash that also saw Viviani and Glenn O'Shea hit the deck. "It was my fault. I hope he's all right. I apologized to Elia after he went down."

Cavendish finished the six-event omnium, which culminated with the points race, on 194 points with Viviani out in front on 206 points. 

"I'm happy. Elia was the best guy there. If you take the points I lost in the elimination I would've been right with him," added Cavendish.

Cavendish has three Madison World titles on his palmares and a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the scratch race from 2006. His main objective of the 2016 season was a gold medal in the omnium and explained that it was bittersweet to come so close to achieving his ambition. 

"I have got my Olympic medal. It is really nice, but gold would've finished the collection. I did a pursuit yesterday and was unhappy I didn't break the Olympic record, that's just me," he said.

"People are forgetting the team we have got behind us. It is incredible how they have worked. Without those guys I wouldn't be here." 

Asked whether he would contemplate chasing his gold dream in four year's time, Cavendish replied; “I actually don't know if I can be arsed answering to all of you lot in four years time. That’s probably the one thing that bugs me the most about it," he said.

Cavendish though will be back on the track later in the year with appearances at two Six-day events with Bradley Wiggins.

"I go home tomorrow and I’m racing on Sunday. It's back to the day job. I'll do the Six Days [of Ghent in November] with Brad and then, I can't deal with the stress for a while," added Cavendish who is also set to race the Six Day London.

Cavendish's silver medal was Great Britain's eighth of the Rio Olympics with one day of racing to come on the track.

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