Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish are set to team up on the track for the first time since the 2008 Olympic Games. Revolution Series organisers Face Partnership have confirmed to Cyclingnews that Wiggins and Cavendish will line up for Team GB in the Madison at the opening round in Derby.
"It’s going to be hard work, but it’s great to be back in the velodrome and I'm going to give it my best shot," Wiggins said in an interview that will be featured in the race programme. "I’m just starting to focus now on what we have to do to win a medal in Rio next year.
"It will be my fifth Olympic games and I can tell you now it doesn't get any easier. We’ll need to hit a real peak in performance terms as a single unit if I’m going to stand any chance of winning an 8th medal and we can take nothing for granted."
Wiggins will also ride the team pursuit and Cavendish takes on the omnium, as they look for UCI ranking points ahead of the Olympic Games next year. The pair will face Madison world champion Morgan Kneisky and his partner Benjamin Thomas, and Gent Six Day champion Kenny de Ketele, who is riding with up and coming rider Moreno de Pauw.
Wiggins and Cavendish rode together in the Madison at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Earlier that year they had taken a convincing win in the event at the World Championships and went in as clear race favourites. They were left empty handed though, finishing in ninth, as Argentina took the medal and Cavendish left the Games as the only GB rider without a medal. Wiggins’ heavy schedule was blamed and the two friends didn’t speak in the months following the event.
The Madison is no longer an Olympic event but remains a fan favourite at the Revolution Series, which mixes together UCI-ranked events and exhibition races. For Wiggins, this weekend marks the beginning of his build-up towards Rio, where he is hoping to earn his spot in the team pursuit squad.
Cavendish has indicated a desire to return to the track at the 2016 Games, although his road obligations make that difficult, and he says that he is ‘keeping his options open’ by riding the Revolution. Other track stars riding the event are Laura Trott, Jolien d'Hoore, Jason Kenny and Becky James.
Following the event, Wiggins is due to ride the Tour of Britain before heading out to Cali, Colombia for the opening round of the track World Cup.