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'I want to win throughout the year, on track and road,' said the Manxman.

Photo: ANSA - PERI / DAL ZENNARO

MARK CAVENDISH

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TOUR OF QATAR

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08.02.2016 @ 08:45 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

The upcoming Tour of Qatar will provide Mark Cavendish will serve as a testing ground for the Manxman before he makes a decision on his race itinerary for the remainder of the spring.

 

Throughout this winter Cavendish has spent much of his time on the track in Manchester in an attempt to qualify for the Omnium at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Placing fourth at the Hong Kong World Cup last month ensured that he has met the qualification criteria, but he is still to be selected for the Great Britain team.

 

The World Track Championships in London next month is expected to be Cavendish’s next major rendezvous on the track, but talking to journalists in Doha on Sunday, Cavendish explained that he will only make a final decision on his participation based on his sensations from this week’s racing in Qatar.

 

“I’ve got to get through this race first and then I’ll decide on the Worlds middle of this race,” said Cavendish, according to Cyclingnews.com. “I’ll see how my endurance is. I’ve only done four days in a row. If I don’t hold up after that then obviously my endurance isn’t very good. So I’ll have to see how I go in a few days and make a call then.”

 

Cavendish combined the Tour de France with competing on the track in the Madison at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, but he noted that the demands were now altogether different, with more specific preparation needed for the Omnium’s mixture of stamina and sprint events.

“It’s not tricky, it’s just that every single day counts. It might not work,” Cavendish said of combining his road and track commitments. “It might be that in a few weeks I realise it’s not doable and I have to change everything but I believe it’s possible to do it. I believe there are very few riders who can do road and track at a high level but I think I’m fortunate that I can do that. In 2008, I won at De Panne and the World Championships in the same week. It’s difficult to do [now] because track cycling isn’t like it used to be. With the Madison and the points race, endurance events, it was like the more you trained, the better you were, as simple as that. In the Omnium, there are three sprint events and they’re so specific. I believe that with careful planning I can do it. I want to win throughout the year, on track and road. You guys talk about the headline races, the Tour, Olympics and Worlds, but I want to win everything else as well. I might not win any of those three but I’ll certainly give it a go.”

 

As for the rest of the 2016 season, Cavendish is expected to compete at the Tour de France and the World Road Race Championships plus the Olympics if he earns a call-up for the British Olympic team. The Tour of Qatar will provide Cavendish with some answers as well as the opportunity to win his first race wearing the Dimension Data jersey.

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