Cavendish heads list for 2012 Olympics test event
London: Britain`s Mark Cavendish, the Tour de France`s most successful sprinter, will head a provisional field for the 2012 Olympics road race test event on August 14 starting and finishing near Buckingham Palace, organisers said Friday.
Cavendish, fresh from winning the green jersey for the most points during last month`s Tour, did not compete in the same event in Beijing in 2008. He has racked up 20 Tour de France stage wins since his first in 2007.
He will have fellow sprinters Tyler Farrar of the United States and Tom Boonen of Belgium to contend with as well as HTC-Highroad team mate Matthew Goss, the first Australian winner of the 102-year-old Milan-San Remo Classic in March.
French road race champion Sylvain Chavanel and compatriot Romain Feillu, Italy`s Eros Capecchi and RadioShack team leader Janez Brajkovic of Slovenia are among the others riders listed in the 148-man field.
Cavendish will start as one of the favourites to win the first gold medal of the London Games on July 28 next year, and his participation in the test event will be valuable preparation as the 26-year-old seeks his first Olympic medal.
At the 2008 Games Cavendish finished eighth in the madison alongside the 2009 fourth-placed Tour de France rider Bradley Wiggins, the pair having won the 2008 world championships in the same event.
Cavendish`s American team HTC-Highroad announced Thursday they will fold at the end of the season and the rider has been linked in the media with British team Sky.
Team Sky members Ben Swift, Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard and Alex Dowsett will line up for Britain alongside Cavendish for the Olympics test event.