Mark Cavendish moves to distance himself from the alleged rift between himself and Bradley Wiggins

First British Cycling’s acting head denied it, then Sir Bradley Wiggins himself, and now Mark Cavendish has rebuffed claims that he and Wiggins had fallen out during the Rio Olympics.

In an interview before the team pursuit qualification got underway, Cavendish said that Wiggins was “super-stressed” and wanted “to be the hero”, meaning he wasn’t utilised in any of the team pursuit rides, this despite leaving the Tour de France early in preparation.

Instead, Cavendish only rode the omnium event where he claimed silver, missing out on a gold in the team pursuit.

Despite his comments, he moved to deny that he insinuated that there was a problem between himself and Wiggins in an interview with the BBC. Cavendish said: “If you say a joke on camera it looks different when it’s printed.

“Me and Brad are like brothers, we dig at each other. If he’s laying on his bed in his pants I take a photo. The press would use that for something, I guess. We’re absolutely fine.”

Andy Harrison, the acting head of BC, denied there was a conflict first and Wiggins also did, saying that the issue had “got a bit blown up”.

Wiggins claimed that the reason Cavendish was not used in team pursuit qualification was because he had failed to demonstrate that he was as fast as the other members of the team, and they couldn’t take the risk of selecting him.

Cavendish ruled himself out of competing in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Australian Gold Coast as the April 4-15 event falls in between the middle of his road season.