Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) has undertaken a reconnaissance of the 2015 UCI World Championships road race course in Richmond, USA, last Wednesday.
Fresh from winning four stages and the points classification at the Amgen Tour of California, Cavendish rode the route in Richmond under police escort as they closed the roads in his honour. Sky News reports that he rode the course at dawn.
Cavendish won the 2011 road race title in Copenhagen, beating Matt Goss (Australia) and Andre Greipel (Germany) in a bunch sprint to become only the second British rider to wear the iconic rainbow jersey after Tom Simpson in 1965.
Since 2011, the world championships courses have been deemed too hilly for the Manx sprint specialist, but September’s race in Richmond has been ear-marked as a possibility for him to fight for a second world title.
Cavendish’s win in Copenhagen was the culmination of thorough planning by the Great Britain team, termed ‘Project Rainbow Jersey’. The then British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford and coach Rod Ellingworth set out a plan to get Cavendish ready for the race, and worked out the team’s tactics. They executed the plan to perfection in a famous victory.
Cavendish is enjoying a good year so far, having taken 13 victories – no rider has currently won more races in 2015 than the 29-year-old. Cavendish is the most successful British rider in history, having taken 132 professional race wins since 2007, including 25 stages of the Tour de France, 15 stages of the Giro d’Italia and one-day classic Milan-San Remo in addition to his 2011 world title.