Mark Cavendish says that he is “back to his day job” at Tirreno-Adriatico after racing the Track World Championships over the weekend. Cavendish is aiming to help Dimension Data and build for Milan-San Remo, with his place at the 2016 Olympics still undecided.
Dimension Data placed 15th, 1-03 back behind winner BMC, in the opening 22.7-kilometre team time trial. Cavendish finished slightly off, 1-12 behind his team-mates along the shores of Lido di Camaiore, in Tuscany.
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“Not really, it’s just back to the day job really,” Cavendish said when asked if he was still on an emotional high from the Worlds. “I have a team to work for here. I’ve got to get back to the job of representing them. It’s going good with the group of guys here.”
Cavendish placed sixth in the omnium and won the gold medal in the Madison with Sir Bradley Wiggins, which he hopes will earn him a spot for the Olympics. He and British Cycling are due to decide for the Rio de Janeiro Games after the Tirreno-Adriatico ends on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the business was racing a team time trial. He arrived to the Dimension Data bus last and shook his team-mates’ hands one-by-one as they warmed down. After some time warming down and speaking with team manager Brian Smith, Cavendish climbed off his bike.
“I’ll see how the next couple of weeks go, with Tirreno this week, and see how my form gets out,” Cavendish responded about going to the Olympics. “Then hopefully it’s a good little Classics campaign.”
He changed the subject when asked more about the track, but he appeared happy to be back with his road team after racing in circles on a 250-metre wooden track.
“I didn’t feel comfortable at all. We were going pretty fast,” Cavendish said of the Tirreno time trial. “We did the recon this morning, and the wind changed the other way so we could’ve gauged our effort differently. I’m happy with that, the team rode well as a unit.
“We haven’t had any training in the team time trial, so it’s all right. It was no problem [back on the road], I’ve been training on the road. It was only 22 kilometres, so we’ll see how the next days go.”
In the next days, Cavendish could have a chance to sprint on stages three and six. It is unsure, though, because both stages cover small hills in the final kilometres.
“All the sprints are uphill this week,” he explained. “And we have good riders for those short uphill finishes and for the mountains. Dimension Data is looking to be in the forefront of the race the whole week.”
The team includes Steve Cummings, who placed sixth overall last year. Both Cavendish and Edvald Boasson Hagen, will use the week to prepare for Milan-San Remo next Saturday. Smith told Cycling Weekly that Cavendish would participate in the monument he won in 2009.