Mark Cavendish suggested that Bradley Wiggins "wants to be the hero" at the Olympic Games, prompting assumptions the pair had fallen out again

The acting head of British Cycling, Andy Harrison, has stressed that Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins have not fallen out.

Cavendish suggested earlier this week that Wiggins’s desire “to be the hero” at the Olympics meant that he would not ride the team pursuit in qualification – the reason why he left the Tour de France early.

This, Cavendish went on to say, had inadvertently hampered his preparation for the omnium as racing all 21 stages of the Tour would have been of benefit to his omnium build-up.

The pair, reigning Madison world champions, have had their difficulties in the past, most notably in the aftermath of the 2008 Beijing Olympics when a fatigued Wiggins couldn’t replicate his form in the Madison event alongside Cavendish and thus the duo failed to take a medal.

>>> Dave Brailsford: ‘Mark Cavendish deserves an Olympic medal’

This latest supposed rift, however, has been downplayed by Harrison who claims he hasn’t noticed any problems in recent weeks.

“For the last two or three weeks Brad and Cav have been very much in close proximity with each other, they roomed together [at the training camp] in Newport for two weeks, they’ve sat next to each other at training over the last couple of days and observing them in the village there’s no issues,” Harrison, who replaced Shane Sutton in readiness for the Games, told the Guardian.


Ed Clancy explains the omnium


“These are two of the greatest riders Britain has ever produced and they’ve both got big personalities and, to be honest, I’m more interested in what they do on the bike rather than what they say in public.”

Qualification for the team pursuit begins on Thursday evening when the quartet of Wiggins, Ed Clancy (looking to become the first ever rider to win three team pursuit Olympic golds), Owain Doull and Steven Burke take to the boards in Rio.

The final, which Britain are expected to contest against Australia, will be on Friday evening.

Cavendish begins his omnium campaign on Sunday, concluding on Monday.

Training sessions inside the velodrome on Wednesday pointed towards a new team pursuit world record of around 3.48, slicing more than three seconds off the current benchmark, set by GB four years ago in London.