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Geraint or Cav? British Cycling's Olympic dilemma

Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia)

Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia) (Image credit: AFP)

By Mark Appleton,

If the British Cycling team is raring to get to Beijing and go racing, there are still a few last minute selection details which remain to be ironed out. The most notable of these is the question over who, if anyone, will contest the Men's Individual Pursuit event along with Britain's reigning Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins.

The two riders in contention are Welsh Barloworld rider Geraint Thomas and the Isle of Man's quadruple Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish of Team Columbia. The selection dilemma is closely related to the proximity, time-wise, of the Individual and Team Pursuit events, with the first round of the latter beginning the morning after the final of the solo event.

Thomas, like Wiggins, is a member of the five man pursuit squad (only four ride) and the effect of his possible participation in the individual event is a cause for concern for team management. For the Manxman, however, this factor does not come into play and the indications are that if he can produce decent enough times in trials over the next few weeks, he will get the nod.

Performance Manager and head coach Shane Sutton said: "We're waiting on the trials of Mark Cavendish in Manchester and also in Beijing. Than we'll decide on which athlete will take that spot."

With Wiggins seen as the favourite to retain his individual Olympic title, a second medal in this discipline would we a bonus but clearly isn't the priority.

"At the moment our goal, first and foremost, is gold in the team pursuit and we don't want to jeopardize that by running the IP with Geraint," continued Sutton. "So we'll wait and see what Mark comes up with."

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