Last Updated on August 19, 2023
With the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro looming, tough decisions may lie ahead for the Great Britain endurance team. Heavy hitters Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish look to leave their mark in the games which is only a few months away and repeat their great performance in 2008. But, with injuries hampering the team and uncertainty with team selection, could there be trouble in paradise?
Team Pursuit coach Heiko Salzwedel deflected any signs and aimed to the present state of the team.
“Now it’s not really time to talk about selection. We’re here as a team and not fighting each other, it’s about conditioning and miles on the road. After Tour of California, then we’ll look at selection.”
Mark Cavendish has competition in shape of Ed Clancy and Stephen Burke for the one Ominum spot. And with Jon Dibben still recovering from surgery, the smoke cleared a bit for that precious spot. Dibben is not giving up, he continues to train and is having is progress checked daily.
Salzwedel will have to figure things out soon enough and tough cuts will have to be made. Five talented athletes must be chosen from a talented pool of cyclists and Salzwedel will probably lose some sleep with the games now less than 100 days away. But, he insisted that team building was on the agenda now, not the Olympics.
“It’s a distraction, of course, but we’re professionals. The riders know we’re looking at performance so that means they’re handling it all in a professional way.”
Cavendish could most likely buy his ticket to Rio already, especially with Jon Dibben ailing. But, he may be a bit rusty because he has not been on a track since the Worlds.
Bradley Wiggins is a whole different issue. He has been carefree and is enjoying his freedom despite public criticism.
“He doesn’t follow any pressures and he doesn’t care about any public opinion at the moment. He’s enjoying this and underplaying his role at the moment. He could do more but I’ve given him complete freedom because he knows what he’s doing and he knows how to get himself in shape. He’s enjoying being the man who doesn’t get all the attention at this time, and he’s enjoying being part of the team.”
With Dibben’s ailments and Wiggins throwing caution into the wind, could this spell for disaster at the Olympic games? Nah, probably not.