The general consensus seems to be the route suits climbers and puncheurs more than the traditional sprinters, with riders such as Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome all setting it as a target for next season.
Cavendish has set his sights on gaining a berth in the Great Britian track team for Rio – which he sees as his best chance of winning a medal – but it is by no means guaranteed that he will be selected.
He is quoted on the BBC as saying he has a “better chance of riding the track than the road race”.
“But if I leave the door open to ride the road race, the option’s always there. It’s like that,” he added.
It’s likely that Cavendish will aim for selection as GB’s rider for the omnium, but with London 2012 bronze medalist Ed Clancy also set to ride in Rio, Cavendish’s place is far from secure.
He is moving from Etixx-Quick Step to Dimension Data – the 2016 guise of MTN-Qhubeka – at the end of the year, with his new team allowing him to mix his track riding with the team’s goals on the road, something he was not allowed to do at Etixx.
And Cavendish joked that he’d be happy for an Olympic medal in any discipline, but cycling is probably his best shot.
“It’s the Olympic Games. If I could leave the door open in archery, I’d do that, but I’m not very good at archery,” he said.