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Cavendish, British coaches exploring track events for 2016 Olympics

LONDON (AFP) — Mark Cavendish has been invited to train with the Great Britain track team before the end of this year as officials assess whether he’s a genuine contender for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 28-year-old Isle of Man rider has experienced plenty of cycling success outside the velodrome, having been crowned the 2011 world road race champion and also winning 25 stages in the Tour de France.

But Olympic triumphs have proved elusive, with the renowned sprinter finishing 29th at the 2012 Olympics road race.

After that event, Cavendish expressed an interest in returning to the track for Rio and last month competed in a Grand Prix event in Belgium in order to be eligible for the British team in Track World Cup events this season.

“He’s already done a bit [on the track] and he’s an exceptional bike rider, Mark. You could see that straight away when he came in,” British men’s endurance coach Paul Manning said Tuesday.

“How much [track time] he needs, I don’t know. He might need less than the next person. He’ll get in there, he’ll get stuck in, then you’ll decide.

“If we can get him in before the end of the year to do a bit of pedaling with the boys, that would be a great start, then move on from there.”

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