Wiggins: Cavendish's Stage 18 win makes him Olympics favourite
Race leader Bradley Wiggins believes Sky team-mate Mark Cavendish's Stage 18 victory marks him out as the favourite for the Olympic road race in just over a week's time.
Cavendish has been forced to put his personal ambitions to one side for much of this race to support Wiggins' defence of the yellow jersey, but his team repaid him by leading him out for a sensational victory in Brive.
The Manxman successfully negotiated a tricky late climb to hit the front, and Wiggins believes that will stand him in good stead for the Olympic road event on Saturday 28th July, which will see the field ascend Box Hill in Surrey no fewer than nine times.
Wiggins told ITV Sport's Ned Boulting: "He's certainly improved his climbing. You look at all the contenders for the Olympic road race and there aren't many of them left who you would say are in as good a shape as Mark, so he's certainly the favourite. He left them for dead today.
"He has been patient and he got his reward today. It showed the team's commitment to him. It has been difficult for him putting his goals to one side, so it was nice that we could do that for him today.
"He's been the first to say 'I think the GC is more important today, let's not sacrifice it'. He's been a true champion and we all wanted to repay him."
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