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Mark Cavendish wins fourth stage on Tour

Mark Cavendish. Credit: PA

British rider Mark Cavendish claimed his fourth stage win of the 2016 Tour de France – and 30th of his stellar career – with a sprint victory in Villars-les-Dombes.

Cavendish enjoyed his best ever first week of Le Tour with victories on stages one, four and six, and the Dimension Data sprinter proved he still has strong form after coming through the first mountain stages.

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Wiggins to reunite with Cavendish at Six Day London

The pair teamed up to win Madison gold at the world track championships in March. Credit: PA

Sir Bradley Wiggins will reunite with Mark Cavendish to race at this year's Six Day London event in October.

Wiggins, who had previously suggested he would retire after this summer's Olympics in Rio, but has signed up to compete alongside Cavendish in what he calls "the double act everyone wants to see".

The pair teamed up to win Madison gold at the world track championships in March and will be back at the capital's Lee Valley VeloPark for the first time since that triumph.

Wiggins, who will be aiming for a fifth gold medal and British record eighth podium appearance if selected for Rio, said: "It's going to be great. This has got to be the double act everyone wants to see isn't it?

"Winning the Madison at the Worlds was incredible and this might well be the last chance that people get to see us together.

"I was gutted not to be able to ride it last year, but this year the timing just fits so I'm hoping it will be a great way to celebrate a successful fifth Olympic Games, back in London."

Sprint ace Cavendish added: "One of the first things I said to Brad after we won the Madison on the track in London was 'we have to do London Six Day together'.

"The Six Day experience is something else - the atmosphere will be right up there with the World Championships, the music's loud and the racing is brutal. It'll be great to team up with Brad again and we'll be going for the win.

Cavendish available for GB Olympic track team

Mark Cavendish has made himself available for selection for Great Britain's Olympic track cycling team.

The 30-year-old from the Isle of Man took time to reflect on his Track Cycling World Championships performance, where he placed sixth in the six-discipline omnium earlier this month and won gold in the non-Olympic Madison alongside Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Cavendish has put himself forward to be considered for August's Games in Rio. Credit: PA

And Cavendish, who has twice suffered Olympic disappointment, has put himself forward to be considered for August's Games in Rio after speaking to British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton.

Sutton said: "I spoke to him earlier this week on what his intentions were and his intentions are to carry on with the project.

"Given his performance at the worlds, he's decided that he wants to be put forward for selection at the Games.

"We just wanted him to go away and see where he was at. He's decided he feels he's done enough to warrant putting himself forward and he believes he can still win."

The rider in the omnium must also be able to slot into the four-rider, four-kilometres team pursuit squad as there are three rounds of competition in close proximity.

The team event takes priority over the omnium, which can be something of a lottery, and Cavendish must be able to compete at gold medal-winning, world record-breaking pace.


Crunch time for Cavendish's Olympic dreams

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 might have to miss the Tour de France. Credit: PA

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.

Cavendish wins Tour of Qatar for second time

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.

Cavendish has now won the Tour of Qatar twice. Credit: PA

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.

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