Cycling stars to miss London 2012 opening ceremony

Mark Cavendish wins, London-Surrey Cycle Classic 2011

Great Britain's cycling team will not attend the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Members of the Great Britain cycling, track and field, and swimming teams will be among 150 athletes who will rest up during the opening ceremony on July 27, according to the London Evening Standard newspaper.

The decision means that road race hope Mark Cavendish and defending Olympic champions Nicole Cooke, Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton will all miss the ceremony.

The opening ceremony is set to last for several hours, finishing at around 11pm. Several British team managers feel that this puts an un-needed strain on athletes right before they compete.

The men's cycling road race is one of the first events on the London 2012 programme, taking place on July 28 - the day after the opening ceremony. The women's road race takes place the following day.

Cavendish won the London 2012 road race test event in July, and goes into the event as one of the favourites to take gold.

Track cycling events kick off with qualifying rounds of the team pursuit and team sprint on August 2.

Related links

London 2012 Olympic Games cycling schedule

London 2012 news section

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