A historic week for British cycling could get even better tomorrow when Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins takes to the road in the 2012 Olympic road race looking to help deliver his Team Sky and Team GB colleague Mark Cavendish to the gold medal. It would be a perfect start to the Games for the host nation and would force cycling onto the front of the British national newspapers for the second time in less than a week.
Wiggins clinched a first-ever Tour de France victory for Great Britain in Paris last Sunday and the sport is riding on a crest of a wave that will show no signs of abating if pre-race favourite Cavendish can swoop the Olympic title on the Mall tomorrow in his late and fast trademark fashion. Cavendish proved his form recently by winning two of the last three stages at the Tour, including the final bunch sprint on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Reigning world champion Cavendish, whose own green jersey ambitions at the Tour were forced to take a back seat by Sky in favour of the GC aspirations of Wiggins and runner-up Chris Froome, sees tomorrow's race as the most important of his season. And Wiggins, who has been explicit in his praise for Cavendish's selflessness during the Tour de France, is eager to help him win gold. He will be aided in his support by Froome, David Millar (who - like Cavendish, Wiggins and Froome - was a stage winner at this year's Tour) and Ian Stannard, who is the current British champion.
"It's probably the strongest Great Britain Olympic team on the road that has ever been assembled," Wiggins told Sky Sports.
"We're all quite humble about our achievements, but externally we must look like a dominant force. I think people know what we're up to, what we're going to do. It's no secret Cav wants to win it and he's got four incredible guys to help him do that.
"This is what Cav has been living for, for most of the year. He's looking as fit as I've ever seen him and we're approaching the thing he's been thinking about since he won the world title. In our minds there's no doubt that he's going to be there in the finale. He's been there for me the last month and now he can sense that it's his turn."