Cycling: Novice rider tags on to Hayles' success

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The Independent Online

Rob Hayles and Mark Cavendish teamed up to win Britain's fourth gold medal at track cycling's World Championships in Los Angeles on Sunday night with victory in the Madison.

The victory was unexpected as 18-year-old Cavendish was making his first appearance at a world championships and the two had not raced together before in an event in which pairs of riders compete as a tag team.

But they were the only pair to take a lap on a field which included Olympic and world champions and that was enough to earn the gold medal.

Hayles, who won bronze with Bradley Wiggins in the event at the Athens Olympics, had never won a world champion's rainbow jersey before this week and the 32-year-old looked to have blown his best chance when he failed to make it through qualifying in the individual pursuit.

However, he was part of the squad which won Saturday's team pursuit and then surprised everyone, including himself, by winning a second gold.

Cavendish was only taken to Los Angeles to get some international experience at senior level, so this was well beyond expectations. He said: "This is all I have ever wanted and, thanks to Rob, I have got it."

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