Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish added to Britain’s stunning medals tally when they won the men’s Madison gold here at the world track cycling championships in Manchester on Saturday.
The duo, who race together for the High Road team in road cycling, finished ahead of Germany and Denmark who took the silver and bronze medals respectively after a frantic finish to the 200-lap, two-man event.
Wiggins has now won his third gold of the championships after the individual pursuit and the team event. Adding to Chris Hoy’s keirin gold and Victoria Pendleton’s sprint crown, Britain now have nine golds from 14 finals.
“It’s great. What can I say?” said Wiggins, who has six senior gold medals from world championships and is the reigning individual and team Olympic champion.
Cavendish, a sprinter who took some major scalps in road racing while racing with T-Mobile last year, picked up his second world title in the two-man endurance race having claimed gold with Rob Hayles in 2005.
The 22-year-old is also the reigning Commonwealth champion for the Isle of Man in the scratch, a medal which brought him to the attention of his former German employers.
Spurred on by a massive, noisy crowd here, Wiggins and Cavendish managed to battle back into the lead 30 laps from the end after nicking precious points along the way from the 10 intermediate sprints.
German duo Roger Kluge and Olaf Pollack followed suit, pushing the Danish duo of Michael Morkov and Alex Rasmussen, the long-time leaders after having lapped the peloton with the Belgian duo earlier, down to third place. Swiss title holders Franco Marvulli and Bruno Risi ended with fifth place.
Cavendish said: “It was quite hard because it seemed to us that when we went hard there was six other teams that came with us at the same time. I just told Brad to keep on going because I knew they would all blow.”
He said their time spend on the road together was the key.
“We’ve spent the reason on the road, so we’ve got the depth there to go for 50km. We knew that in the World Cups a lot of teams blew after 40k. It was just a case of keeping going. You’ve got my speed, and Brad’s endurance. It’s a great combination,” said Cavendish, who will team up with Wiggins in the event at the Beijing Olympics for which reigning champions Australia have not qualified a team.
“We showed we were the best there. We knew we were the strongest.”
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008