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Sir Bradley Wiggins and Great Britain qualified fastest in the men's team pursuit on day one of the Track Cycling World Championships in London.
Wiggins, riding in his first Track World Championships since 2008, combined with London 2012 gold medallist Steven Burke, Jonathan Dibben and Owain Doull to clock three minutes 55.664 seconds and advance in first place to the semi-finals.
Britain will meet fourth-fastest qualifiers Italy in the semi-finals of the four-man, four-kilometres event, which take place on Thursday's second day of competition. Italy qualified in 3mins 57.800secs.
Australia (3:55.867) and defending champions New Zealand (3:57.050) will meet in the second semi-final, vying for a place in Thursday's final.
Mark Cavendish has been warned his dream of crowning his career with an Olympic medal could be over if he fails to secure a top-three finish in next week's Track World Championships in London.
Cavendish will return to the track to contest the omnium event at the London Velodrome in a race that could prove pivotal to his ambition of finally claiming that elusive place on the podium in Rio.
With competition for places at a premium, British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton expects Cavendish to be under no illusions over what is expected of him over the final few months of build-up to the Games.
Sutton said: "For Cav to be in Rio he needs to perform well next week - I would like to think he would very close to the top three in London, and he would be expecting that of himself, otherwise he would rule himself out.
"If he can't make the top three in the world, I think he would put his hand up and go back and pursue his dreams of the leaders' yellow jersey and winning stages of the Tour de France."
Cavendish is hungry for an Olympic medal after being the only member of the Great Britain team to miss out in London, and having also failed to take an expected medal alongside Sir Bradley Wiggins in the madison in Beijing in 2008.
But in order to return to track contention Cavendish will be expected to make a significant number of sacrifices, including potentially curtailing his involvement in this year's Tour de France, and also, if selected in the omnium, also joining GB's team pursuit campaign.
Mark Cavendish has won the Tour of Qatar after finishing second on the concluding fifth stage.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won his third stage of the five-day race, but Briton Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) secured the gold jersey by five seconds.
A photo finish determined Kristoff had beaten Cavendish by a minute margin, but the Norwegian was runner-up to the Manxman overall - who has now won the Qatar tour twice.
The victory constituted the first general classification success of the season for Team Dimension Data, previously known as MTN-Qhubeka.
Cavendish spared a thought for team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen, who punctured on Thursday to relinquish the gold jersey.
"Obviously it's nice to be wearing gold now, but I know I am only wearing it on behalf of Edvald," Cavendish said.
"He only lost it because of bad luck and not through any other kind of cause.
"He should be the guy wearing this gold jersey but we are just super happy to keep it in Team Dimension Data."
After showing his road form at the venue for October's Road World Championships, Cavendish could now turn his attention to the track, with the Track World Championships taking place in London in early March.
Chris Froome has announced that he has extended his current Team Sky deal through to the end of 2018.
Froome, who won last year's Tour to go with his 2013 crown, announced the news during the team's training camp in Mallorca.
"Team Sky have been fundamental to my success to date, so it was a very easy decision to commit to the team until the end of 2018," Froome said in a statement.
"Their values are my values and I am proud to ride for a team that has shown you can win the biggest bike races in the world clean.
"2015 was a fantastic year for me both professionally and personally and this is a great kick-start to 2016. I am more motivated than I have ever been and I have got big targets for this Olympic year. I can't wait to start racing."
Froome has been with Sky since the team was founded in 2010.
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Great Britain secured silver and bronze medals on the final day of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cambridge, New Zealand.
Chris Latham secured silver in the omnium, while the duo of Mark Stewart and Germain Burton took bronze in the madison.
Latham told British Cycling: "I've been knocking on the door waiting for that opportunity and sadly Ed (Clancy) was going to do this (omnium) but he's had a back injury so I've jumped in and took the opportunity.
"It's massive, a real big performance. First World Cup (of the season) and to get a silver, well happy with that, I'm delighted."
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Andre Greipel won Saturday's penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain as Edvald Boasson Hagen moved onto the verge of a second win in the event.
Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) won a sprint finish at the end of the 227.1-kilometres seventh stage from Fakenham to Ipswich by a narrow margin from Team Sky's Elia Viviani.
Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka), the winner of the 2009 Tour of Britain, was fifth on the stage to consolidate his 13-second overall advantage.
Woet Poels (Team Sky) is the Norwegian's nearest rival ahead of Sunday's final stage in central London, which is expected to end in a sprint.