Mark Cavendish believes that the Great Britain team’s impressive performance at the world championships set down an important marker for the London 2012 Olympics road race. The world champion paid tribute to the efforts of his teammates in Copenhagen in September, as they controlled the race in order to set up the bunch finish.
“For the world champs it was about getting GB up front,” Cavendish told The Telegraph. “We showed the world we can control the championships; not just win, but control how the whole race panned out. That’s quite a dominating thing to have. Psychologically, the other teams now know who rules.”
After spending his professional career to date as part of the Highroad set-up, Cavendish will join Sky in 2012. Although he only confirmed his move to the British team in October, he acknowledged that there was an air of inevitability about the transfer.
“I always felt I would end up with them,” he said. “It’s logical. It’s the best team, it has got the best back-up and it’ll be good to ride with guys who I will ride with at the Olympics. For British cycling it’s the right move.”
Bradley Wiggins will be among his teammates at Sky, but Cavendish was reluctant to discuss how the team will be built around their respective interests at the Tour de France. Wiggins will chase a place on the podium, while Cavendish is looking to defend his green jersey.
“You’ll have to ask [Sky manager] Dave Brailsford,” he said. “But listen, I wouldn’t have joined them if I didn’t think it was possible.”
Rather than resting on his laurels from 2011, Cavendish is determined to push on in the rainbow bands of world champion and he is already looking ahead to next season and to the years beyond that.
“I’m never really satisfied. I like to achieve my targets, but I’ve got no time to linger and look back. I have to move on to the next target,” he said. “I’ve got a maximum 10 more years in my career. After that, I’ll have all the time in the world to look back. For now, I’ve only got time to look forward.”
To that end, the Manxman is already back in the saddle after a ten-day holiday in Dubai. “I need to be on a bike, mentally as much as physically,” he explained.