Dave Brailsford backs Team GB cyclists to benefit from Bradley Wiggins's Tour de France success


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Dave Brailsford has backed his British cyclists to carry the momentum from a successful Tour de France into the Olympics.

After Bradley Wiggins became the first British Tour winner last Sunday, cycling again takes centre stage, with world champion and 23-time Tour stage winner Mark Cavendish taking the leadership mantle tomorrow.

Cavendish is among the favourites to win the 250-kilometre road race, which starts and finishes on The Mall and features nine ascents of Surrey's Box Hill, and the Manxman could become Britain's first gold medal winner of the home Games.

British Cycling performance director Brailsford said: "The Tour de France performance seems to have captured a lot of people's imagination and raised the interest in cycling.

"I think it's the perfect way to step into the Olympic arena and what better way to start than being the first medal on the first day.

"The riders we have on the team, that's something they would relish and will spur them on.

"We are very happy to be going for the first medal and confident with it.

"He's a born winner, he thrives on a big stage and who better stepping up than Mark.

"You've got to give him credit and stand back and admire his ability to take on that big stage and deliver time and time again.

"Whether he delivers or not, he's certainly the person who we'd all back and want to be leading that charge."

Britain's cyclists won eight gold medals in Beijing and the whole team, across all disciplines, are buoyed by Wiggins' success.

"I walked into Newport, where the track team are, and they were all just buzzing from it," Brailsford said.

"Chris Hoy, Vicky (Pendleton), all the team pursuit teams, they were absolutely on a high from it.

"It's difficult to measure, but it's certainly given the whole team a lift."