Cavendish vows not to celebrate, win or lose


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The Independent Online

Win or lose in the Olympic road race tomorrow, Mark Cavendish will be back in the saddle on Sunday for a three-day sprint around the cycling hot beds of Europe. Cavendish is booked to appear in a criterium in Belgium followed by another in France on Monday and then Holland.

As Cavendish put it, he is a professional cyclist. Tomorrow he races for glory, on Sunday for pay as part of the Sky team that took him to the world road race title in Copenhagen last September. "Whatever happens I won't be celebrating," Cavendish said. "I have a day job to do in pro cycling. It's what I do. I have a rainbow jersey [mark of world champion] on my back and I want to do it proud."

Cavendish declared himself to be fighting fit ahead of his big day tomorrow, which is not always how he felt during three gruelling weeks in the service of Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France. His schedule this year has been built around delivering gold at the Olympics. During the hard yards in the Alps, he admitted feeling fatigued and said the thought did cross his mind that he might not finish.

"At times on the Tour I was more tired than I thought. There were a couple of times after that when I thought I would not complete the race."

That is all in the past for now for Cavendish, left, as he prepares for tomorrow's race. He said: "The team came properly together yesterday. It's the dream team. We are just buzzing. First and second in the Tour de France, four guys who have won stages and the British champion. I couldn't be in a better position."

Chris Froome The Kenyan-born Froome has ridden under a British licence since 2008, as his father is from the UK. The 27-year-old is a specialist climber, which he showcased on the Tour de France this year when he assisted Bradley Wiggins to a yellow jersey and finished second in the overall standings. So impressive was his performance in the Tour, he is already touted as one of the favourites to win next year. Froome will also team up again with Wiggins in the time-trial on Wednesday.

David Millar The 35-year-old is the only British cyclist to have worn all the Tour de France jerseys on various stages during the competition. Millar captained Great Britain to victory in the 2011 UCI World Championships road race and his inclusion in this Olympics comes after a two-year ban from the sport for doping offences in 2004.

Ian Stannard The Team Sky rider, 25, turned professional in 2008, and was part of the road team alongside Millar and Wiggins that delivered Mark Cavendish to World Championship glory in September.