Ed Clancy has added his support to Mark Cavendish's desire to race on the track at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016. Clancy, who secured his second medal of the Games on Sunday in the omnium, came through the British Academy ranks with the sprinter before they both went their separate ways: Cavendish targeting the road and Clancy the track.
Cavendish failed to win the Olympic road race and expects the Rio road course in 2016 to suit non-sprinters. Realistically, his best chance of winning a gold medal at Rio would rest on the track, where he has secured world titles in the past. Last week he told Sky Sports News that he could target the track team for Rio, with a place on the team pursuit being his preference and best option of success.
"I spent a lot of time with Cav, I lived in Germany with him for a year and I spent two years on the (British Cycling Olympic) Academy with him. He hangs round in different circles to me nowadays, he's a superstar, but if he came back to the team pursuit that would make my day," Clancy said.
"When I spoke to Mark on the phone the first thing he said, he was talking about the team pursuit for Rio and I know Brad's been talking about that as well, so that's quite exciting. I don't know if these guys are just mulling it over. Cav's won everything in his career but he knows the one thing that's missing is that Olympic gold."
Great Britain's pursuit team will need rebuilding. Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh are set to direct their ambitions towards the road and Dan Hunt, the team's coach, told Cyclingnews that his role will also be looked at after London. Hunt also said he would welcome any rider with sufficient talent but made it clear that specializing on the track – as Geraint Thomas has done – would be paramount.
As for Clancy, he closes his 2012 Olympic Games with two medals. After securing a world record and gold in the team pursuit he turned his attention to the omnium over the weekend and won bronze. Dominant in the individual events, he lost his chance of gold during the sprint events with Lasse Norman taking gold and Bryan Coquard silver.
"I've never had to dig so deep in my soul to get up and race," Clancy said, having competed for four straight days while his pursuit teammates celebrated.
"Burkey (Steven Burke) was lying in a pool of sick in his bed yesterday morning. You just want to be there with them celebrating. But at the same time they've been great, Geraint (Thomas) has been here every day supporting me with the mother of all hangovers.
"I really put all my eggs in the team pursuit basket and I really didn't know how the omnium was going to go. I've won things in the past and I knew it was going to be hit or miss whether I could get a medal and at one point it looked like I was going to win, at another point it looked like I was going to get nothing."