Road

Cav says he’s chosen a 2012 team, pumped for worlds

LONDON (AFP) - British rider Mark Cavendish told the BBC on Tuesday that his best chance yet of winning the world road race title would come in Copenhagen in September. He also said he has chosen a team for next year, but declined to identify the team.

Cavendish on the final lap of the Champs-Élysées last month. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

LONDON (AFP) – British rider Mark Cavendish told the BBC on Tuesday that his best chance yet of winning the world road race title would come in Copenhagen in September. He also said he has chosen a team for next year, but declined to identify the team.

The 26-year-old — who is coming off a tremendous Tour de France where he won the green jersey and five stages — said that a favorable course and a strong British team supporting him gave him real cause for optimism for the championships that run from September 19-25.

“I think with the team I have and the course it is the best chance of my career to win the worlds,” he said.

“It is not pan-flat, but it is flat. It is a technical circuit so we have to stay at the front quite a lot.

“We can go with a strong team and be the favorites to win.”

Cavendish, a two-time world champion in the Madison, also revealed he had already chosen who he would ride for next year but that he would not disclose who it was for some time yet.

His contract with present team HTC-Highroad expires at the end of the year and there has been suggestions he might switch to Team Sky, where another British star, Bradley Wiggins, is the team leader.

“I’m 100 percent happy in my decision.”

“I had one of those feelings. There was one more ingredient put into an offer I’d had.”

Cavendish said his decision was not based on money.

“I would get the same money whichever team I go to,” said Cavendish, who also took the green-jersey honors in last year’s Tour of Spain.

“I want to go to the best place to help me win. That might be the same place I am at now.”

Cavendish, winner of 20 career stages in the Tour de France, admits he faces a tough call next year with the Olympic road race in London starting just a week after the Tour de France finishes.

He acknowledged that his professional team may put pressure on him to focus on that.

“In the history of road cycling the Olympics is a big thing but not the biggest,” said the Isle of Man-born star.

“As a professional cyclist, it can’t come at the forefront.

“But as a British person the Olympics is a massive thing and at a personal level it comes at the forefront for me.

“I am contracted and work for a professional team (outside of the Olympics) and I have to do what they say first.

“Next year the Tour de France is a massive goal for me and the Olympics is a massive thing for me.”