After his stunning victory at Milan-San Remo, Mark Cavendish is in line for a crack at the scratch race title at the World Track Championships in Poland this week.
The 23-year-old was a surprise inclusion in the Great Britain squad, but wants to put the disappointment of Beijing behind him and get back on the track. As Cycling Weekly revealed last week, he was certain to ride the Madison, but was also in line for the scratch race.
As of Saturday night, it was still the intention for Cavendish to ride in Thursday?s scratch race according to the British Cycling coaching team.
The scratch race offers a great opportunity to win a world title and put to rest any lasting bad memories of his Olympic experience. In a 15-kilometre, first-over-the-line race, there are few in the world who can match Cavendish?s speed.
He will then team up with another rider from the Isle of Man, Peter Kennaugh, in Saturday?s Madison. If the Great Britain pair were to win, it would be Cavendish?s third world title, each won with a different team-mate. In 2005, he won with Rob Hayles in Los Angeles, and last year he was partnered with Bradley Wiggins.
Chris Newton will ride the points race, and after winning the World Cup title, he?ll be among the favourites. The last time he won the world title in the event was in Copenhagen seven years ago.
Steven Burke will take Great Britain?s place in the Omnium, an event which combines five sprint and endurance disciplines. The Olympic individual pursuit silver medallist was sixth in the Omnium at last year?s Worlds in Manchester. On his way to that result he won the kilometre time trial round with a time of 1-03.
The team pursuit squad and individual pursuit places are yet to be confirmed, but the coaching team will know more after the late afternoon session on the track at the BGZ Arena velodrome in Pruszkow. The question to be answered is whether Cavendish could take one of the individual pursuit places? Updated: We’ve just had that question answered, and the answer was ‘none at all’.
2009 UCI TRACK CYCLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
NEWS AND FEATURES
Cavendish in the frame for Scratch race world title bid
2009 Track Cycling World Championships preview
Crampton set to fill Sir Chris Hoy’s team sprint spot
2009 World Track Champs GB squad named
Hoy to miss world track champs
Track World Championships: British medal winners
CW’s Dummies’ Guide to Track Racing
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International track results last season: 2007-2008
International track results this season: 2008-2009
2008 TRACK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS LINKS
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Track Cycling World Championships 2009 official website
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