Olympic chief Rogge hoping Cavendish strikes gold

British gold would give the games a big boost, says the Belgian IOC president

LONDON (AFP) — Mark Cavendish will enjoy the support of an influential cheerleader when he sets off on his quest to land Britain’s first gold of the Olympics on Saturday.

The world champion is aiming to crown his win in the final stage of the Tour de France last weekend by powering to glory in men’s road race held on the streets of London on Saturday.

And no one will be happier than International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge if the 27-year-old “Manx Missile” manages to achieve his goal.

A win for Cavendish and host nation Britain would give the Games an early jolt of momentum, according to the Belgian IOC chief.

“An early medal — an early gold medal — for the host country is of great importance to lift the mood and spirit of the whole atmosphere of the nation,” Rogge said. “Saturday morning is one of the true moments of the Games, and I know the entire British nation is waiting for Cavendish to win that elusive gold medal.

“The United Kingdom has a good chance with Cavendish — we know that.

“I’d be happy with a British medal — I’d be happy with a Belgian medal,” Rogge said.