Cycling: Wonderful Copenhagen overflows with welcome signs for London 2012
With two golds, two silvers and two bronzes secured in Denmark, Great Britain's first-ever top spot in the medal standings in a World Road Championships could not have provided a better foundation for GB's road cycling prospects at London 2012.
In three out of the four events also on the Olympic programme – the men's and women's road-race, and respective time trials – Britain was a top-three finisher in Copenhagen.
Mark Cavendish's spectacular bunch sprint triumph yesterday in the men's road race has deservedly captured the most attention, and even as he was waiting to don the rainbow jersey of world champion the Briton has already said that securing a medal of the same colour in London will be his biggest objective next year.
However, Cavendish also preached caution, knowing that quite apart from the pressure of being the overwhelming favourite – which he had no problems with in Denmark – London will present three extra hurdles.
The Olympic road race on 28 July is less than a week after the Tour de France's final sprint on the Champs Elysées, the much hillier middle section of the London course is also likely to split the peloton and with just five GB riders, not eight as in Denmark, Cavendish's team-mates will have a far harder time pulling back any breakaways.
But Cavendish's victory will nonetheless vastly strengthen GB team morale prior to 2012 – and that, combined with his natural speed, could be an equally decisive factor. Bradley Wiggins' silver medal in the men's time trial was almost as encouraging.
Although the gap between himself and gold medallist Tony Martin, a whopping 75 seconds, suggests the Londoner will have his work cut out against the German, beating defending Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara for the second time in a month in Copenhagen was a result that will resonate through to next July.
Emma Pooley's progress against the clock has been even more remarkable. Her Olympic silver medal in Beijing came on a hilly course that favoured her climbing talents. In Denmark, her bronze on a course far flatter than anything the double national champion will face in London is another major step forward.
Latest in Sport
Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3: Mario Balotelli and Gary Lineker lead the trolling of United
Police probe Mario Balotelli racist abuse as Kick It Out voice their displeasure
Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
Manchester City vs Chelsea match report: Frank Lampard shows no joy after denying Chelsea victory
Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3 player ratings: Leonard Ulloa? Radamel Falcao? Jamie Vardy? Angel Di Maria? Who was the star man?
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 4 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
£15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...
£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Qualified Nursery nurs...
£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: We are looking to rec...
£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...